antentopSince2 July

Ham Spirit
Antentop Free E-Magazine
Free Choice



Free Antentop Amateur Open Book
Antentop Album
Antentop Survey




Antentop is FREE e-magazine devoted to Antennas and Amateur Radio an

Special page devoted to

Atmospheric Current: Practical Experiments

Custom Search


ANTENTOP- 01- 2008, # 010

Atmospheric Current: Practical Experiments





V. T. Polaykov, RA3AAE, Ph. D in technical science


The Article describes some experimenters that prove the mysterious current from the Broom Antenna



Credit Line:





 The article is described my experiments to measure “atmosphere current” (see Reference 1).At first I tried to measure the current at field conditions. For antenna mast I have used a telescopic plastic fishing tackle in 7 meters long. Broom was made from opened multistrand cable.  Branches of the broom had length in 10 centimeters. Grounding was made from a steel rod in diameter of 4 millimeter and length in 50 centimeters.



The experiment was made in a forest at a wide glade. It was good calm weather. A thin wire is going from the broom to the digital multimeter M830B, another wire from the multimeter is going to the ground. Multimeter was installed at scale “200 mV”. At the scale the multimeter has input impedance 1 million Ohms, so, the maximum measurement current is 200 nano A. However, the multimeter has digits at scale that show 0.1-nano A.



V. T. Polaykov, RA3AAE

It was discovered no any current. A weak sensitivity of the multimeter may be the reason. However, another phenomenon was discovered. At swing of the fishing rod (with broom) that is usual matter at the experimenters, the multimeter shows current. The current reached up to 10 nano A and changed by amplitude and polarity.


I tried to count the current. The speed of a flow of ions is equal to mobility of ions multiplied by intensity of E- field. The mobility of negative ions (on Chizhevsky ) under normal atmospheric conditions is equal 1,83 centimeter /second, and intensity of an atmospheric static field - about 1,3 V / centimeter. So, speed of flow of ions V near 2,5 centimeter/second.


Density of flow of ions j = nVe. Concentration n of ions at natural conditions is estimate equal  near 1000 on cubic centimeter, charge of an ion å = 1,6.10-19 ql. So, ionic current near ground  is near  about 4 pico A/square meter, that is not practically matched with some data found by me in technical reference- near 2,5 … 3,5 pico A/ square meter.


It is less of the sensitivity of the multimeter in 10-100 times.


At the same time we may assume, that grounded (through the digital multimeter) antenna creates around of it’s end top a volumetric charge with a zero potential relative to the ground.

Moving fast (faster than ions can move) the broom antenna end  from one air area (that almost has potential of the broom) to other air are  (that has potential U near 1000 V relative to the ground- 130 V (electrical gradient)  multiply to 7.5 meters (height of the fishing rod)) is caused recharge current i for the antenna. Let’s find the current.


I= dq/dt,


Where: q= CU.


Assume that antenna has C= 20 pF   and time of antenna moving- 1 second. So, antenna current would be 20 nano-A, that the multimeter is shown to us.


Conclusion 1: Although  I cannot measure the antenna current at the field conditions the experiment prove the electrization of the air around the antenna broom.


Page 22


22 23 24 25



QRP Transceivers and PA from Accessible Parts IP for QRP Antentop Book Radio Antenna Engineering Book Antentop Printed and e- magazines



Just for Fun:

Map IP Address

Thanks for your time!

Last Updated:

August 2, 2016 23:07

Antentop Home Page

Free Antentop Open Book