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Simulation of short gap electrostatic discharge (ESD) in air needs to consider two processes: a surface process and an avalanche process. Two models, a phenomenological approach and a physical approach, considering both discharge processes are proposed for the simulation of short-gap ESD. A new mathematical derivation for the modeling of the surface process is discussed in detail. A new technique to combine surface and avalanche process models is described. Measured and simulated data based on short-gap ESD are provided and compared. Advantages and drawbacks of the proposed models are discussed. Attained results should help to optimize ESD testing.