Simulation of lightning initiation on the basis of dynamical grap

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Despite numerous achievements of modern science the problem of lightning initiation in an electrodeless thundercloud, the maximum electric field strength inside which is approximately an order of magnitude lower than the dielectric strength of air, remains unsolved. Although there is no doubt that discharge activity begins with the appearance of positive streamers, which can develop under approximately half the threshold electric field as compared to negative ones, it remains unexplored how cold weakly conducting streamer systems unite in a joint hot well-conducting leader channel capable of self-propagation due to effective polarization in a relatively small external field. In this study, we present a self-organizing transport model which is applied to the case of electric discharge tree formation in a thundercloud. So, the model is aimed at numerical simulation of the initial stage of lightning discharge development. Among the innovative features of the model are the absence of grid spacing, high spatiotemporal resolution, and consideration of temporal evolution of electrical parameters of transport channels. The model takes into account the widely known asymmetry between threshold fields needed for positive and negative streamers development. In our model, the resulting well-conducting leader channel forms due to collective effect of combining the currents of tens of thousands of interacting streamer channels each of which initially has negligible conductivity and temperature that does not differ from the ambient one. The model bipolar tree is a directed graph (it has both positive and negative parts). It has morphological and electrodynamic characteristics which are intermediate between laboratory long spark and developed lightning. The model has universal character which allows to use it in other tasks related to the study of transport (in the broad sense of the word) networks.

Keywords: collective dynamics, discrete transport model, applied graph theory, fractals, electric discharge, lightning
Citation in English: Bulatov A.A., Syssoev A.A., Iudin D.I. Simulation of lightning initiation on the basis of dynamical grap // Computer Research and Modeling, 2021, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 125-147
Citation in English: Bulatov A.A., Syssoev A.A., Iudin D.I. Simulation of lightning initiation on the basis of dynamical grap // Computer Research and Modeling, 2021, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 125-147
DOI: 10.20537/2076-7633-2021-13-1-125-147

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