Gateway for:

Member Countries

Atmospheric Electricity in Kyrgyzstan


Atmospheric Electrical and Ion Fields in Kyrgyz Republic

Tech Area / Field

  • NNE-MEC/Miscellaneous Energy Conversion/Non-Nuclear Energy

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov

Supporting institutes

  • SOS-STORM, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek\nInstitute of Physics, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek\nRussian Academy of Sciences / Institute of Applied Physics, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., N. Novgorod


  • University of Mississippi, USA, OH, Oxford\n[Individual specialist]\nUniversity of Uppsala / Department of Earth Science, Sweden, Uppsala\nFMA Research, USA, CO, Fort Collins\nSandia National Laboratories, USA, NM, Albuquerque

Project summary

The goal of the Project is study basic characteristics of the atmospheric electricity in Kyrgyzstan: electric current field, current, polar conductivities, ionic composition; processes defining a quasi-static condition of these characteristics and a level of their perturbations. This study is needed due to a range of practical tasks, such as monitoring of air ion composition for ecological and medical purposes, the improvement of weather forecasting techniques, including those for thundershowers and squalls, the control of ionization level and electromagnetic radiation, as well as for the resolving of a fundamental problem of formation of a global electric chain.

The geographical and geophysical natural features in Kyrgyzstan (a range of mountain chains separated by high-altitude valleys and craters, dry continental climate) define the unique nature of electric processes in its atmosphere. It is characterized by an elevated level of ion generation caused by radio space sources, a non-homogenous distribution of electric field and current in most of the area even in good weather conditions, high lightning activity during the convective period. Another specific feature of atmospheric electricity in Kyrgyzstan is its interrelation with the seismic activity. At the same time, no targeted comprehensive study of an atmospheric electric field and ion formation processes has been done yet in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Recently, there has been a growing interest to atmospheric electric processes which is due to their role in the global and regional electrodynamics and the chemistry of small atmospheric components, ecological problems, their impact on radio communication and flying safety of high-altitude airplanes and spacecrafts. A new impulse to the study of these processes in the 90s of the last century was given by the discovery of new geophysical phenomena related with an atmosphere ionization: high-altitude electric discharges which correlate with a thunderstorm activity and are accompanied by electromagnetic radiation in a wide frequency range; intensive bursts of ultrafine aerosol particles concentrations; aeroelectric structures in the border layer of atmosphere. All these phenomena have been an object of intensive research in the recent years by the participants of this project, the two latest ones of which were discovered with their direct participation [Anisimov et al., 1999, Anisimov and Mareev, 2000; Smirnov, 1992; Smirnov et al., 1998]. Advanced studies of the unique geophysical conditions of Kyrghyzstan are of exceptional scientific importance and are crucial for the development of an ecological monitoring system not only in this republic but also on the entire Asian continent.

During the project implementation, unique possibilities of the Kyrgyzstan high mountain weather and seismic stations, as well as their staff experience, will be used. Among the project participants will also be people from the SOS-STORM Public Foundation and the Kyrgyz Institute of Physics (KIP). In the course of the work over a range of ISTC projects (##310, 311, 1704p, 2104, 2210), the project participants from the head institute, the Russian Federal Nuclear Center – VNIIEF, have developed a theoretical basis and numeric programs in order to calculate the reactions of electromagnetic fields of the atmosphere, as well as generation and propagation of strong electromagnetic impulses in the atmosphere. Project participants from the Russian Institute of Physics have a 20-odd years experience in experimental and theoretical studies of an entire complex of atmospheric electricity phenomena, including observational and expeditionary measurements of electric field tension, conductivity, aerosol and ionic composition. In particular, they have developed high sensitive measuring equipment for recording of electric field, polar conductivities, aerosol and ionic composition, and have created the most advanced measuring techniques which will be used in the course of the work over the project. Also, project participants from the VNIIEF and the Russian Institute of Applied Physics (RIAP) have large experience in recording and calculation of electromagnetic processes occurring during nuclear explosions.

It should be underlined that the research of the entire complex of effects related with the atmospheric ionization is necessary to ensure a good functioning of a system of space monitoring of nuclear testing and compliance with the article IV paragraph 11 of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), in particular, for the development of confidence-building measures. This area of the research is all the more important in the view of a recent ratification of the CTBT by the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The Project is, therefore, a combination both of fundamental and applied studies the implementation of which will enable to attain the Project objectives. These include:

  • completing a data bank for recording and analysis of electric field, conductivity, ionic and aerosol composition;
  • classification of electric field and conductivity measurements by their statistical, correlation and physical properties;
  • detection of the features of ion formation in mountain areas;
  • establishing the principles of generation of aeroelectrical structures in high-mountain conditions;
  • elaboration of a theoretical basis and creation of a mathematical and physical model of nucleation bursts;
  • creation of a mathematical and physical model of contribution by the Tien Shan mountain chain into the global electric chain;
  • systematization and presentation of the findings in a form so as to ensure a good functioning of systems of electromagnetic monitoring of nuclear explosions under the CTBT, and recommending on the enhancement of credibility of the results of space monitoring of compliance with the CTBT;
  • transfer of experience to young Kyrgyz researchers in recording and analysis of electric field, ion conductivity and concentration.

The findings will be used in monitoring of air ion composition for ecological and medical purposes, improvement of weather forecasting techniques, including those for thundershowers and squalls, and the ionization level and electromagnetic radiation control. Also, these results will be used in the analysis of statistics of thunderstorm discharges and their impact on the remote radio connection. And finally, the project results will be needed to resolve the fundamental problem of formation of a global electric chain.

This project fully meets the ISTC goals:

  • it will enable the Russian scientists and experts (from the VNIIEF and the Russian Institute of Physics) involved in the development of a nuclear weapon, to re-direct their activities for civil purposes and to develop new conversion technologies in the area of experimental study and analysis of thunderstorm discharges;
  • the project is based on contemporary achievements of science and technology in recording and analysis of radiations accompanying lightning discharges, and promotes the integration of young nuclear researchers within the international scientific community;
  • the project has a certain commercial potential, given its role in the setting up of a technological and scientific basis for monitoring of air ion composition for ecological and medical purposes, the improvement of weather forecasting techniques, including those for thundershowers and squalls, the ionization level and electromagnetic radiation control, and in the improvement of the EMP monitoring methods to ensure the compliance with the CTBT;
  • working over the Project will facilitate the transfer of experience to young Kyrgyz specialists in using modern techniques for recording and analysis of thunderstorm discharge radiation.

In accordance with the Research Plan of the proposed Project, the cooperation with foreign collaborators will include the following:
  • using the collaborators’ experience in the course of experiments;
  • exchanging the information in the course of the project implementation;
  • obtaining from collaborators of space data on thunderstorm activity in the Tien Shan area;
  • obtaining from collaborators their comments to technical reports by the project participants;
  • assisting to the project participants in attending the international conferences;
  • conducting of collective workshops.

The completion of this project will enable the Russian scientists and experts who were involved in the nuclear weapon development and testing, to re-focus on peaceful activities, to facilitate the integration of Russian scientists within the international scientific community, to support fundamental and applied studies for peaceful purposes, and will facilitate the tackling of national and international technical problems in the area of environmental monitoring, which is consistent with the goals of and working under the ISTC projects.

The main research findings will be published.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

Promotional Material

Значимы проект

See ISTC's new Promotional video view