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Proceedings Paper

Triggering and guiding of lightning by ultrafast lasers
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Paper Abstract

Lightning causes great property losses to human beings every year, therefore how to control lightning and reduce its harm has always been one of the hotspots of the scientific community. In recent years, with the development of high energy ultra-fast laser technology, the peak power of ultrafast laser has been able to reach the GW, TW and even PW. Under the support of such high peak power laser technology, a new type of lightning triggering and guiding technology -- lasertriggered lightning has gradually attracted researchers’ attention. When the laser power intensity reaches TW, Kerr selffocusing effect and plasma defocusing effect will reach dynamic equilibrium. At this time, a light filament with a diameter of a few millimeters and a length of several hundred meters will be formed in the atmosphere, and a low-density plasma channel will be generated in the path. Then a leader is formed through the plasma channel which can trigger and guide discharge from the thunderstorm cloud. Compared with the traditional triggering and guiding of lightning technology, triggering and guiding of lightning by ultrafast Laser has the advantages of flexibility, pollution-free, no consumable consumption, flexible initiative, etc. It will be an important lightning triggering and guiding technology in the future, and it has gradually attracted the attention of scholars from various countries and has obtained a lot of research results. This paper mainly introduces the basic principles of laser-triggered-and-guided lightning, including the laser filament formation mechanism, the basic principle of laser-triggered-and-guided lightning and its history and recent research progress. Moreover, the scientific difficult problems and possible solutions for laser-triggered-and-guided lightning are also discussed, which can be a reference for future development of laser-triggered-and-guided lightning technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 March 2020
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 11437, 2019 International Conference on Optical Instruments and Technology: Advanced Laser Technology and Applications, 114370O (12 March 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2550060
Show Author Affiliations
Haitao Zhang, Tsinghua Univ. (China)
Qihang Gong, Tsinghua Univ. (China)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11437:
2019 International Conference on Optical Instruments and Technology: Advanced Laser Technology and Applications
Zhiyi Wei; Chunqing Gao; Pu Wang; Franz X, Kärtner; Stefan A. Weber, Editor(s)

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