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Return Stroke Initiated by the Contact between a Downward Negative Leader from the Aerosol Cloud and Upward Positive Leader from the Grounded Plane

Andreev M. G., Bulatov M., Kostinskiy A., Makal’sky L. M., Sukharevsky D., Syssoev V. S.

For the first time a junction of two leaders one of which is formed in an aerosol cloud was recorded in a direct experiment, and it was shown that the parameters of the front of the current and its duration are very similar to those corresponding to the return stroke in resultant long spark discharges. The junction occurred between a downward negative leader from a cloud of negatively charged water aerosol and an upward positive leader from a grounded plane. Additional information about the characteristics of this process was obtained by means of high speed video and infrared cameras.