THE APPROACH TO STEADY-STATE IONIZATION IN AIR.
LOCKHEED MISSILES AND SPACE CO PALO ALTO CALIF RESEARCH LABS
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The deionization equations which describe the time history of electrons, positive and negative ion populations are a familiar topic to workers in the field of upper atmospheric physics. The common procedure with these equations has been to assume slow variation in the equation parameters. Then the population of each species is adequately described by a quasi-equilibrium value which also varies slowly with time. What, in effect, is used then is a steady-state approximation. The response of the system to transient rapid parameter variation or initial large departures from equilibrium are thus ignored. Unfortunately, the transient response of the system cannot always be neglected without seriously misrepresenting the physics. Therefore, it would be useful to know when such a neglect of transients can be justified. The main goal of the report is to present graphically for a series of altitudes between 0 and 100 km the information necessary to give a firmer basis for the decision to neglect transients. Included in the information presented within are the quasi-equilibrium concentrations of electrons and negative ions as well as various time constants associated with the deionization equations. All information is parametrized according to ionization rate which varies between 10 and 10 to the 12th power ion-pairscu cm. The altitude dependence is obtained from the 1959-ARDC model atmosphere and normal atmospheric chemistry is assumed throughout. Author
- Atmospheric Physics
- Physical Chemistry
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics