Análise do Circuito Elétrico Atmosférico pelo Método dos Elementos Finitos (Analysis of the Atmospheric Electric Circuit using the Finite Element Method)

Antônio Flavio Licarião Nogueira (

Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina
This paper appears in: Revista IEEE América Latina

Publication Date: June 2009
Volume: 7,   Issue: 2 
ISSN: 1548-0992

This study concerns the electrical properties of the Earth's lower atmosphere. A theoretical description of the terrestrial global circuit is presented. An electrostatic model based on the finite element technique is used to investigate the following parameters of the Earth-ionosphere cavity: (i) energy storage in different regions; (ii) variation with height of the electric field and space charge. The modeled domain is bound by two concentric conductive spheres to represent the Earth's surface and the lower ionosphere; a set of intermediate concentric conductive spheres is employed to discretize the inner space. The sources of energy are defined by specifying the electric potential of all conductive spheres; these potentials are obtained from the vertical electric field profile proposed by Gish. The axisymmetric problem provides three-dimensional information about the various parameters. Numerical calculations of the different parameters are compared to analytical predictions of the Gish model and show a very good correlation.

Index Terms:
conductivity, electric field, finite element methods, ionosphere, terrestrial atmosphere   

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