Ionization Waves, Propagating in Opposite Directions, as in Red Sprites


  •   Dmitry A. Sorokin

  •   Victor F. Tarasenko

  •   Evgenii Kh. Baksht

  •   Nikita P. Vinogradov


The paper is devoted to the study of a pulsed streamer discharge, similar to that in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. An experimental setup providing the formation of two ionization waves propagating in opposite directions from a region filled with a plasma formed by the capacitive discharge in low-pressure atmospheric air was created. In a physical experiment, the process of propagation of red ionization waves (streamers) was simulated. It was established that the average propagation velocities of their fronts correspond to those of red sprites. This was shown as a result of spectral studies that at air pressures of 0.4-3 Torr, the radiation color radiation observed visually and captured on an integral photograph from the region of passage of ionization waves is determined by the spectral transitions of the first positive system (FPS) of nitrogen molecules, similar to what occurs for red sprites. In this case, the spectral energy density of radiation in the most intense band of the second positive system (SPS) of the nitrogen molecule with a wavelength of 337.13 nm is an order of magnitude or higher than that in the most intense band of the FPS with the wavelength of 775.32 nm. Using the emission spectra and methods of optical emission spectroscopy (OES), the main parameters of the discharge plasma are estimated. Thus, the created setup makes it possible to simulate the process of the formation of red sprites propagating in opposite directions under laboratory conditions.

Keywords: Ionization Wave, Streamer, Low-Pressure, Red Sprites, Transient Luminous Event.


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How to Cite
Sorokin, D. A., Tarasenko, V. F., Baksht, E. K., & Vinogradov, N. P. (2022). Ionization Waves, Propagating in Opposite Directions, as in Red Sprites. European Journal of Environment and Earth Sciences, 3(6), 42–48.