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Laser filamentation for probing and controlling atmospheric processes

English title Laser filamentation for probing and controlling atmospheric processes
Applicant Gosal Mary
Number 145444
Funding scheme Marie Heim-Voegtlin grants
Research institution GAP-Optique Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Other disciplines of Physics
Start/End 01.03.2013 - 30.06.2015
Approved amount 168'334.00
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Keywords (5)

Laser Filamentation; Laser induced Lightning; Weather Control; Laser induced condensation; Coherent Control

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
La prévention des phénomènes météorologiques violents tels que les inondations et la foudre, ont été un rêve pendant des siècles. Notre objectif est d'utiliser un régime particulier de propagation des impulsions ultra-brèves et ultra-intenses, la filamentation, pour comprendre et maîtriser les phénomènes atmosphériques comme condensation des nuages et les éclairs.
Lay summary

Les filaments sont des structures auto-guidées qui peuvent être émises au niveau des nuages, et ioniser l'air sur leur passage. Ce canal plasma peut agir comme un chemin conducteur pour déclencher la foudre.  Par ailleurs, dans l'air humide, une nouvelle photochimie se déroule, ce qui conduit à la condensation de vapeur d'eau en particules pouvant constituer des noyaux de nucléation.

Ce projet vise à étudier les filaments et leurs effets sur l'atmosphère, grâce à une technique appelée contrôle cohérent. Différentes combinaisons de propriétés du laser telles que l'intensité, longueur d'onde et la largeur spectrale, influent sur les caractéristiques des filaments. Nous cherchons à mieux comprendre comment les filaments sont formés pour apprendre à contrôler leur propagation et la photochimie de l'air ionisé. Nous esperons ainsi améliorer la production de gouttelettes.  Et en contrôlant la durée de vie du plasma, nous espérons également créer les bonnes conditions pour déclencher la foudre.

Notre travail permettra de mieux comprendre la filamentation laser, mais aussi de fournir un outil précieux pour l'étude des mécanismes de condensation des nuages, et pourrait potentiellement conduire à une méthode pour moduler (produire ou inhiber) la pluie. Il pourrait également ouvrir la voie vers le déclenchement de la foudre d'une manière reproductible et fiable.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 13.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Name Institute

Employees

Name Institute

Publications

Publication
Laser vaporization of cirrus-like ice particles with secondary ice multiplication
Matthews Mary (2016), Laser vaporization of cirrus-like ice particles with secondary ice multiplication, in Science Advances , 2(5), e1501912.
Linewidth-narrowing phenomena with intersubband cavity polaritons
Mary Matthews (2014), Linewidth-narrowing phenomena with intersubband cavity polaritons, in Physical Review B, 89 (20), 205319.
White-light femtosecond Lidar at 100 TW power level
Petrarca M., Henin S., Berti N., Matthews M., Chagas J., Kasparian J., Wolf J. -P., Gatti G., Di Pirro G., Anania M. -P., Ferrario M., Ghigo A. (2014), White-light femtosecond Lidar at 100 TW power level, in APPLIED PHYSICS B-LASERS AND OPTICS, 114(3), 319-325.
Cooperative effect of ultraviolet and near-infrared beams in laser-induced condensation
Matthews M., Henin S., Pomel F., Theberge F., Lassonde P., Daigle J-F., Kieffer J-C., Kasparian J., Wolf J. -P. (2013), Cooperative effect of ultraviolet and near-infrared beams in laser-induced condensation, in APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS, 103(26), 264103.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Karlsruhe Institute for Technology Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
INRS (Institut national de la recherche scientifique) Canada (North America)
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Freie Universitat Berlin Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati Italy (Europe)
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Imperial College, London Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
MBI Berlin Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Laser Weather Conference September 2015 Talk given at a conference “Combined effect of UV and NIR beams in laser-induced condensation” 21.09.2015 World Meteorological Organisation, Switzerland Gosal Mary;
NCCR Molecular Ultrafast Science and Technology Annual Meeting Engelberg 2015 Poster The effect of pulse shape on ionisation: Hunting for Kramers - Henneberger States 12.01.2015 Engelberg, Switzerland, Switzerland Gosal Mary;
Photon 14, Institute of Physics Conference, Imperial College London, UK 1-4th September 2014 Talk given at a conference Observation of the laser filament-induced ice multiplication process 01.09.2014 Imperial College London, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Gosal Mary;
Photon 14, Institute of Physics Conference, Imperial College London, UK 1-4th September 2014 Poster “Combined effect of UV and NIR beams in laser-induced condensation” 01.09.2014 Imperial COllege London, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Gosal Mary;
Laser Weather Control 2013, Poster The contribution of water droplet and ice fragmentation to laser filament induced condensation and filament induced secondary ice multiplication, (FISIM) 16.09.2013 World Meteorological Organisation, Geneva , Switzerland Gosal Mary;
Laser Weather Control 2013, Poster Non-linear, time-resolved generation and growth of water condensation particles using combined fs-IR filament and ns-UV pulses 16.09.2013 World Meteorological Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland Gosal Mary;


Abstract

The prevention of damaging weather phenomena like floods, hail and lightning strikes has been a dream for centuries. We propose a highly innovative approach relying on laser filaments for both triggering and guiding lightning and to produce water condensation in the atmosphere. Filaments arise from the non-linear propagation of high-power lasers through transparent media. They consist of self-sustained light strings of typ. 100 µm diameter and hundreds of meters length in air, bear very high intensities (10TW/cm2) and are electrically conductive through molecular ionization.The filamentation process in air was considered until recently as resulting from the dynamic balance between the optical Kerr effect and defocusing by the self-generated plasma. Our unexpected discovery, last year, that filaments are governed by negative higher-order Kerr effect (HOKE), opened both basic physical questions about the stabilization mechanism and new opportunities to optimize the envisioned applications to lightning triggering and cloud condensation. The present project aims at investigating both of these aspects.We propose to study in the laboratory the physical origin of the alternated signs of HOKE in gases, which are suspected to stem from populated bound states. Coherently controlling these bound states in rare gases and air will allow us to tailor the HOKE inversion, and consequently to control the filament process itself. Optimal pulse shapes will then be sought by adaptive (closed loop) techniques to maximize the plasma density and lifetime in filaments for lightning control applications. Similar coherent control approaches will be performed for optimizing the complex photochemistry that leads to water condensation in the atmosphere.
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