- Open Access
Measurement of atmospheric air-earth current density from a tropical station using improvised Wilson’s plate antenna
Earth, Planets and Space volume 61, pages 919–926 (2009)
We have developed an experimental set-up to measure the atmospheric air-earth current (conduction current). Data obtained with the continuous measurements of Wilson’s plate are used to study of air-earth current density, with the aim of gaining an understanding of the experimental set-up’s response to different meteorological conditions, including fair-weather days. This paper is a part of the on-going Global Electric Circuit (GEC) studies from Tirunelveli (8.7°N, 77.8°E), a measurement site in the tropical and southern tip of the Indian peninsula. Attempts have been made in past few years to obtain the global signature in this region with this sensor, but on most of the occasions it has been impossible to obtain the global signature during fair-weather days. The data used for February–April, 2007 have the well-defined nature of this global signature, which is in agreement with the well-established classical Carnegie curve of GEC. This paper also deals with very important observations made at sunrise and during those hours when fog existed. It is noted that the resistivity of the atmosphere increased significantly with the onset of fog and later decreased as the fog disappeared, based on the measured value of conduction current density when compared with the electric field measured by horizontal passive wire antenna. Also, during fair-weather conditions, conduction current and electric field variations are similar because the conductivity during this period is more or less constant at this site. Observations made during different meteorological conditions, such as different wind speeds, humidities, and temperatures, are also discussed.
Byrne, G. J., J. R. Benbrook, and E. A. Bering, Ground based instrumentation for measurements of atmospheric conduction current and electric field at south pole, J. Geophys. Res., 98, 2611–2619, 1993.
Clayton, M. and C. Polk, Electrical process, in Atmospheres, Proc. 5th Int. Conf. on Atmospheric Electricity, edited by G. Partenkirchen, H. Dolezalek, and R. Steinkopt, 440–451, 1977.
Datta, T. and A. B. Bhattacharya, Atmospheric electrical field in relation to severe meteorological disturbances, Ind. J. Radio Space Phys., 33, 374–383, 2004.
Dhanorkar, S., C. G. Deshpande, and A. K. Kamra, Atmospheric electricity measurements at Pune during the solar eclipse of 18 March 1988, J. Atmos. Terr. Phys., 51, 1031–1040, 1989.
Hoppel, W. A., R. V. Anderson, and J. D. Willett, Atmospheric Electricity in the Planetary Boundary Layer, Earth Electrical Environment, National Academy Press, Washington D.C., 1986.
Israel, H., Atmospheric Electricity, Vol. II, National Science foundation, Washington D.C., 1961.
Kamra, A. K., C. G. Deshpande, and V. Gopalakrishnan, Effect of relative humidity on the electrical conductivity of marine air, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 123, 1295–1302, 1997.
Kar, S. K., A. B. Bhattacharya, and Y.-A. Liou, Solar effects on terrestrial radio communication disturbances and associated tropospheric and ionospheric variations, Ind. J. Phys., 78(B), 151–163, 2004.
Marshall, T. C., W. D. Rust, M. Stolzenburg, W. P. Roeder, and P. R. Krehbiel, A study of enhanced fair-weather electric fields occurring soon after sunrise, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 24,455–24,469, 1999.
Monohar, G. K. and S. S. Kandalgaonkar, Estimation of electrical changes deposited to the ground by lightening the thunderstorms at Pune, Ind. J. Radio Space Phys., 24, 297–307, 1995.
Monohar, G. K., S. S. Kandalgaonkar, and S. M. Sholapurkar, Effects of thermal power plant emissions on atmospheric electrical parameters, Atmos. Environ., 23, 843–851, 1989.
Muir, M. S., The ionosphere as the source of the atmospheric electric sunrise effect, J. Atmos. Terr. Phys., 37, 553–559, 1975.
Panneerselvam, C., K. U. Nair, K. Jeeva, C. Selvaraj, S. Gurubaran, and R. Rajaram, A comparative study of atmospheric Maxwell current and electric field from a low latitude station Tirunelveli, Earth Planets Space, 55, 697–703, 2003.
Panneerselvam, C., K. U. Nair, C. Selvaraj, K. Jeeva, C. P. Anil Kumar, and S. Gurubaran, Diurnal variation of atmospheric Maxwell current over the low-latitude continental station, Tirunelveli, India (8.7°N, 77.8′E), Earth Planets Space, 59, 429–435, 2007.
Price, C. and D. Rind, A simple lightning parameterization for calculating global lightning Distributions, J. Geophys. Res., 97, 1919–1927, 1992.
Raina, B. N., Surface measurements of the components of air-earth current density, Cloud Physics and Atmospheric Electricity Frontiers, Vol. II, 973–988, 2002.
Ralph Markson, W., Solar modulation of atmospheric electrification and possible implications of the sun-weather relationship, Nature, 273, 103–109, 1978.
Tammet, H., S. Israelson, E. Knudsen, and T. J. Tuomi, Effective area of a horizontal long-wire antenna collecting the atmospheric electric vertical current, J. Geophys. Res., 101,D23, 671–682, 1996.
Tinsley, B. A. and R. A. Heelis, Correlation of atmospheric dynamics with solar activity evidence for a connection via solar wind, atmospheric electricity and cloud microphysics, J. Geophys. Res., 98, 10,375–10,376, 1993.
Whipple, F.J.W. and E. L. Scrase, Point discharge in the electrical field of earth, Meterol. Off. Geophys. Mem. London, 68, 20, 1936.
About this article
Cite this article
Anil Kumar, C.P., Panneerselvam, C., Nair, K.U. et al. Measurement of atmospheric air-earth current density from a tropical station using improvised Wilson’s plate antenna. Earth Planet Sp 61, 919–926 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03353203
- Global electric circuit
- atmospheric electricity
- conduction current density
- passive antenna