Dynamic Gas Flow Effects on the ESD of Aerospace Vehicle Surfaces.




The purpose of this work is to develop a dynamic version of Paschen's Law that takes into account the flow of ambient gas past aerospace vehicle surfaces. However, the classic Paschen's Law does not take into account the flow of gas of an aerospace vehicle, whose surfaces may be triboelectrically charged by dust or ice crystal impingement, traversing the atmosphere. The basic hypothesis of this work is that the number of electron-ion pairs created per unit distance by the electric field between the electrodes is mitigated by the electron-ion pairs removed per unit distance by the flow of gas. The revised Paschen equation must be a function of the mean velocity, v(sub xm), of the ambient gas and reduces to the classical version of Paschen's law when the gas mean velocity, v(sub xm) = 0. New formulations of Paschen's Law, taking into account Mach number and dynamic pressure, derived by the authors, will be discussed. These equations will be evaluated by wind tunnel experimentation later this year. Based on the results of this work, it is hoped that the safety of aerospace vehicles will be enhanced with a redefinition of electrostatic launch commit criteria. It is also possible that new products, such as new anti-static coatings, may be formulated from this data.



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