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Propagation of terawatt-femtosecond laser pulses and its application to the triggering and guiding of high-voltage discharges

Abstract : When an ultrashort-terawatt laser pulse is propagating through the atmosphere, long filaments may develop. Their light is confined in an area of about 100 µm over distances up to several hundred meters, and an air plasma is generated along the beam path. Moreover, filamentation leads to a significant broadening of the initial pulse spectrum. These properties open the perspective to improve classical LIDAR techniques as well as to laser lightning control.
In the laboratory, we have shown that the filaments survive the propagation through highly turbulent air as well as under adverse atmospheric conditions such as rain and reduced pressure. By using an multi-terawatt, ultrashort laser pulse, the white-light LIDAR signal could be detected at an altitude of more than 20 km for the first time.
In cooperation with high-voltage facilities, the effective plasma lifetime for the laser guiding of discharges and the achievable guided lengths have been determined. By using an additional nanosecond laser pulse, the triggering probability could be significantly enhanced. Furthermore, we have shown that the
triggering and guiding is possible in artificial rain.
These results encourage further research aiming at the application of white-light LIDAR and real-scale lightning control.
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https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-00133125
Contributor : Jérôme Kasparian <>
Submitted on : Friday, February 23, 2007 - 4:15:48 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 9:00:22 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00133125, version 1

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Roland Ackermann. Propagation of terawatt-femtosecond laser pulses and its application to the triggering and guiding of high-voltage discharges. Physics [physics]. Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I, 2006. English. ⟨tel-00133125⟩

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