Table of Contents
Journal of Computational Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 869452, 5 pages
Research Article

Ground to Cloud Lightning Flash Currents and Electric Fields: Interaction with Aircraft and Production of Ionosphere Sprites

1Department of Electrical and Communication Engineering, University of Technology, Lae 411, Papua New Guinea
2Department of Physical Science, Vavuniya Campus of the University of Jaffna, Vavuniya 43000, Sri Lanka
3Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
4Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

Received 30 November 2013; Revised 24 June 2014; Accepted 25 June 2014; Published 3 August 2014

Academic Editor: Luis Landesa

Copyright © 2014 P. R. P. Hoole et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents for the first time a case for the importance of ground to cloud (upward leader) lightning flash parameters for safety testing of direct aircraft-lightning interaction and protection of wind turbines, as well as the importance of radiated electric fields for indirect lightning-aircraft interaction and generation of electric discharges called sprites and halos in the ionosphere. By using an electric circuit model of the transverse magnetic waves along the return stroke channel, electric currents at ground level as well as cloud level are determined for both the cloud to ground lightning flash and the ground to cloud lightning flash. We show that when an aircraft triggers lightning, the electric currents will be much more severe in current magnitude, rate of rise of currents, and frequency spectrum than otherwise and are more severe than the parameters observed for the usual and well monitored (and measured) cloud to ground (downward leader) flashes. The rate of rise of currents and the frequency spectrum of the ground to cloud lightning flash are also given here. The electric fields radiated by the lightning flashes that would appear in the ionosphere are presented for both the earth flash and the ground to cloud flash.