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11 January 2000 Laser-triggered spark discharges using ultrashort-pulse lasers
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Proceedings Volume 3886, High-Power Lasers in Energy Engineering; (2000)
Event: Advanced High-Power Lasers and Applications, 1999, Osaka, Japan
This paper presents result form a systematic study of the feasibility of triggering lightning in a controlled fashion, using ultrashort pulse lasers. We show the importance of producing a plasma with local gradients of electron density by focusing the laser beam in order to trigger streamers, which are the first condition required for the initiation of large-scale spark discharges. We present evidence of the ability of laser filaments to guide streamer discharges, which are akin to the final jump phase of a lightning discharge. We also demonstrate that the leader propagation can be considerably modified by the presence of a laser- produced plasma channel, in a rod-plane electrode geometry. Finally, we have developed numerical models for the ultrashort pulse laser beam propagation through air, plasma production and streamer inception.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Bruno M. La Fontaine, D. Comtois, C. Y. Chien, P. Couture, A. Desparois, Tudor Wyatt Johnston, Zhiming Jiang, Jean-Claude Kieffer, Francois Martin, R. Mawassi, H. P. Mercure, Henri Pepin, F. Poitras, C. Potvin, F. A. M. Rizk, and Francois Vidal "Laser-triggered spark discharges using ultrashort-pulse lasers", Proc. SPIE 3886, High-Power Lasers in Energy Engineering, (11 January 2000);

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