A Study of Atmospheric Ionization: Measurements of the Ion Conditions in an ATC Laboratory and a Review of the Literature of Ion Effects on Performance.
NATIONAL AVIATION FACILITIES EXPERIMENTAL CENTER ATLANTIC CITY N J
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Reports of irritating sensations affecting the face, nose, and eyes when working at ATC radar positions motivated the study. The possibility was considered that an atmospheric ion imbalance, due to the high voltages present on the equipment could be the cause of the observed sensations. Accordingly, a project was initiated for the measurement of atmospheric ion levels. A significant Percent Excess Charge for very small ions was found in the vicinity of the RBDE-5 radar displays. The imbalance, in favor of positive ions, exceeded 33 percent. This positive imbalance, possibly the cause of the irritating sensations, might be due to the 20 kilovolt positive accelerating potential used for the displays. The literature on atmospheric ions was reviewed to determine the relationship between ion levels and task performance and health. The thresholds for the onset of deleterious effects of positive ions were tentatively defined. Author
- Environmental Health and Safety