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Electric Field Strength

# Electric Field Strength

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03/18/2014

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David A. Hill, et. al.. "Electric Field Strength."
Copyright 2000 CRC Press LLC. <http://www.engnetbase.com>.
\u00a9 1999 by CRC Press LLC
Electric Field Strength1
47.1 Electrostatic Fields
Field Mills \u2022 Calibration Field
47.2 ELF and ULF Electric Fields
Natural Horizontal Electric Field at the Earth\u2019s Surface \u2022 Free-
Body Electric Field Meters
Dipole Antennas \u2022 Aperture Antennas
47.4 Three-Loop Antenna System
Electric \ufb01eld strength is de\ufb01ned as the ratio of the force on a positive test charge at rest to the magnitude

of the test charge in the limit as the magnitude of the test charge approaches zero. The units of electric \ufb01eld strength are volts per meter (V m\u20131). Electric charges and currents are sources of electric and magnetic \ufb01elds, and Maxwell\u2019s equations [1] provide the mathematical relationships between electro- magnetic (EM) \ufb01elds and sources.

The electric \ufb01eld at a point in space is a vector de\ufb01ned by components along three orthogonal axes.
For example, in a rectangular coordinate system, the electric \ufb01eld
\u2192
E can be written as:
(47.1)
where\u02c6
x,\u02c6
y, and\u02c6
zare unit vectors and Ex, Ey, and Ez are scalar components. For electrostatic \ufb01elds, the

components are real scalars that are independent of time. For steady-state, time-harmonic \ufb01elds, the components are complex phasors that represent magnitude and phase. The time dependence,ej\u03c9 t , is suppressed.

47.1Electrostatic Fields

Electrostatic \ufb01elds are present throughout the atmosphere, and there are strong electrostatic \ufb01elds near high-voltage dc power lines. The commonly used electrostatic \ufb01eld meters generate an ac signal by periodic conductor motion (either rotation or vibration). This ac signal is proportional to the electric \ufb01eld strength, and \ufb01eld meter calibration is performed in a known electrostatic \ufb01eld.

1Contribution of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, not subject to copyright in the United States.
r
E xE yE zE
= + +
\u02c6
\u02c6
\u02c6
x
y
z
David A. Hill
National Institute of Standards
and Technology
Motohisa Kanda
National Institute of Standards
and Technology
\u00a9 1999 by CRC Press LLC
Field Mills

Field mills (also called generating voltmeters) determine electric \ufb01eld strength by measuring modulated, capacitively induced charges or currents on metal electrodes. Two types of \ufb01eld mills \u2014 the shutter type and the cylindrical type \u2014 are described in the technical literature [2]. The shutter type is more common; a simpli\ufb01ed version is shown in Figure 47.1. The sensing electrode is periodically exposed to and shielded from the electric \ufb01eld by a grounded, rotating shutter. The chargeqs induced on the sensing electrode and the currentis between the sensing electrode and ground are both proportional to the electric \ufb01eld strengthEnormal to the electrode:

(47.2)
where\ue0000 is the permittivity of free space [1] andas(t ) is the effective exposed area of the sensing electrode
at timet.

Thus, the \ufb01eld strength can be determined by measuring the induced charge or current (or voltage across the impedanceZ ). If the induced signal is recti\ufb01ed by a phase-sensitive detector (relative to the shutter motion), the dc output signal will indicate both the polarity and magnitude of the electric \ufb01eld [3].

FIGURE 47.1Sh u t t er - t yp e elect r ic \ufb01eld m ill fo r m easu r em en t o f t h e p o lar it y an d m agn it u d e o f an elect r o st at ic \ufb01eld .
q t
Ea t
i t
E
a t
t
s
s
s
s
and
d
d
( )=
( )
( )=
( )
\ue000
\ue000
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