Characterization of Aircraft Electrostatic Charging/Discharging Effects and the Influence of Aircraft Skin Conductivity 2006-01-1507
During an aircraft flight, water droplets, snow or precipitation will impact the fuselage and the wing surfaces, and develop static charges on the structure. Because of composite materials, those charging particles can produce potential differences between surfaces of different aircraft zones. The transients generated by the discharge can couple into onboard electronic/electrical systems and cause no found faults or upsets. Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) phenomenon resulting from corona effect can generate very high electric field that can couple with wiring bundles and generate communications disruption during flight.
ESD effects have to be properly addressed during an aircraft design, as are Lightning and HIRF.
This paper presents some theoretical considerations and experimental data based on full aircraft ESD ground tests at Bombardier facilities in Mirabel (Montreal).