An apparatus and method for momentary sampling of an atmosphere to determ electrostatic charge density is disclosed. A nonconductive elongated sampling tube is inserted into the area to be sampled. An intake valve on the end of the elongated sampling tube is opened momentarily and a small sample of the atmosphere to be sampled is moved through the intake valve and the elongated sampling tube into an isolated metallic inner cylinder filled with metallic wool. An outer metallic cylinder is located concentrically around the inner cylinder and is electrically isolated therefrom except for a single discharge path through an electronic control package. Current flow between the inner cylinder and outer cylinder is measured by a sensitive ammeter in the electronic control package and is electronically converted to indicate charge density in coloumbs/meters.sup.3.
Thomas E. Owen