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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Laser in future could divert Lightning strikes

Researchers from the University of Arizona and the University of Central Florida, USA to develop technology that can transmit high-intensity laser beam into the atmosphere, more distant than previously possible distance.
Researchers hope that ultimately, the technology could be used to steer lightning away from buildings. (Picture from: http://www.digitaltrends.com/)
The study, published in the Nature Photonics journal is still in the testing phase of the laboratory, but in the future, it can be used to guide electrical discharges such as lightning, so as not to strikes the building.

Currently, high intensity laser produced with modern technology vanished within a few inches since unraveled. That is, the laser was too short to be used in applications such as switching lightning.
The top image shows the case of the intense central beam alone. The beam is focused and a short filament results and the plasma channel dissipates rapidly. In the bottom figure, the beam is accompanied by the dress beam. The filament and the plasma channel is extended manifold. (Picture from: http://phys.org/)
The breakthrough made by researchers is putting the primary laser beam of high intensity in the second laser beam whose intensity is lower. When exploring the primary laser beam in the air, the two beams - the so-called dress beams - energy supply and make the primary laser beam is able to achieve a greater distance.

"We use two different types of rays. A high-intensity laser beam focus that made filaments, and another laser wrap. Second laser beam is able to have a longer distance and has a constant intensity," said Maik Scheller, researchers from the University of Arizona.

Similar to the principle of noise-canceling headphones featured, the loss of energy in the laser beam can be closed by primary energy supply of the laser beam wrapper. In lab testing, the research team was able to extend the maximum distance of the laser filament, which originally only 10 inches to 84 inches.

Simulations conducted by Matthew Mills at the University of Central Florida showed that by adjusting the laser technology scales to proportion the atmosphere, the laser filament distance can reach 50 meters or more.

When the filament moves in the air, they will leave a plasma channel, the ionized molecules that have lost electrons. Such plasma channels could be used to track lightning strikes. Ultimately, this technology can be used to control a lightning strike during a thunderstorm going on and direct it away from the building. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | PHYS.ORG]
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