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Proceedings Paper

Laser-triggered spark discharges using ultrashort-pulse lasers
Author(s): 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; Francois Vidal
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Paper Abstract

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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 January 2000
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3886, High-Power Lasers in Energy Engineering, (11 January 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.375109
Show Author Affiliations
Bruno M. La Fontaine, INRS-Energie et Materiaux (Canada)
D. Comtois, INRS-Energie et Materiaux (Canada)
C. Y. Chien, INRS-Energie et Materiaux (Canada)
P. Couture, IREQ/Hydro-Quebec (Canada)
A. Desparois, INRS-Energie et Materiaux (Canada)
Tudor Wyatt Johnston, INRS-Energie et Materiaux (Canada)
Zhiming Jiang, INRS-Energie et Materiaux (United States)
Jean-Claude Kieffer, INRS-Energie et Materiaux (Canada)
Francois Martin, INRS-Energie et Materiaux (Canada)
R. Mawassi, INRS-Energie et Materiaux (Canada)
H. P. Mercure, IREQ/Hydro-Quebec (Canada)
Henri Pepin, INRS-Energie et Materiaux (Canada)
F. Poitras, INRS-Energie et Materiaux (Canada)
C. Potvin, IREQ/Hydro-Quebec (Canada)
F. A. M. Rizk, INRS-Energie et Materiaux (Canada)
Francois Vidal, INRS-Energie et Materiaux (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3886:
High-Power Lasers in Energy Engineering
Kunioki Mima; Gerald L. Kulcinski; William J. Hogan, Editor(s)

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