Electrostatic charging of the NH90 helicopter

Hannu Salmela (Corresponding Author), Tapio Kalliohaka, Matti Lehtimäki, Matti Harkoma

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    This article discusses electrostatic charging of the NH90 medium transport/utility helicopter and assesses the safety of transported products against electrostatic discharges originated from the helicopter. Key questions were to determine charging characteristics of the composite material body NH90 compared to metal body helicopters as well as the charging levels in typical operating situations and climate conditions in Northern Europe. Most attention was paid to a situation where a load was winched to ground from a levitating helicopter at 40–80 feet altitudes. The measurements were supported with a simplified numeric simulation model and calculations of the charging of the helicopter.

    According to the study, there is no significant difference in electrostatic charging characteristics between composite body NH90 helicopter and metal body helicopters. The tight grounding net of the NH90 helicopter enables the charge currents to discharge in the same manner as in metal body helicopters. In all measured situations, the electrostatic charging of the NH90 or a person moving inside the helicopter is under the transport requirements depicted in the standard STANAG 4235.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)368-372
    JournalJournal of Electrostatics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
    Event12th International Conference on Electrostatics - Budapest, Hungary
    Duration: 17 Apr 201319 Apr 2013


    • electrostatic charging
    • ESD
    • helicopter
    • NH90


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