Towards Remote Lightning Manipulation by Meters-long Plasma Channels Generated by Ultra-Short-Pulse High-Intensity Lasers

Jenya Papeer*, Indranuj Dey, Moti Botton, Zohar Henis, Amit D. Lad, Moniruzzaman Shaikh, Deep Sarkar, Kamalesh Jana, Sheroy Tata, Sudipta Lodh Roy, Yash M. Ved, G. Ravindra Kumar, Arie Zigler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Remote manipulation (triggering and guiding) of lightning in atmospheric conditions of thunderstorms has been the subject of intense scientific research for decades. High power, ultrashort-pulse lasers are considered attractive in generating plasma channels in air that could serve as conductors/diverters for lightning. However, two fundamental obstacles, namely the limited length and lifetime of such plasma channels prevented their realization to this date. In this paper, we report decisive experimental results of our multi-element broken wire concept that extends the generated plasma channels to the required tens of meters range. We obtain 13-meter-long plasma wire, limited only by our current experimental setup, with plasma conditions that could be sufficient for the leader initiation. This advance, coupled with our demonstrated method of laser heating for long time sustenance of the plasma channel, is a major, significant step towards controlling lightning.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number407
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).

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