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Thread: Triggering a lightning strike with a high power, pulsed laser

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    Lightbulb Triggering a lightning strike with a high power, pulsed laser

    Here's a use for lasers that I'll bet you haven't tried... Inducing a lightning strike! The article doesn't have any pictures, and they haven't actually forced a ground-strike yet, but the technology is there. (Of course, a ground strike would probably ruin the bounce mirror!)

    Still, it's a damn cool idea...

    Adam

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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    Here's a use for lasers that I'll bet you haven't tried... Inducing a lightning strike! The article doesn't have any pictures, and they haven't actually forced a ground-strike yet, but the technology is there. (Of course, a ground strike would probably ruin the bounce mirror!)

    Still, it's a damn cool idea...

    Adam

    The Japanese have a couple of Co2 laser based systems up and running to divert strikes around their space facilities and nuke plants.

    Steve

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    Cool

    That's cool... Wonder how much power they have to run? (Figure they're trying to make plasma in free air, so it's got to be damn high...)

    Sure would like to see one of those in operation. (From a safe distance, of course!)

    Adam

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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    That's cool... Wonder how much power they have to run? (Figure they're trying to make plasma in free air, so it's got to be damn high...)

    Sure would like to see one of those in operation. (From a safe distance, of course!)

    Adam
    10 to 100 kW, which is a small OEM co2 cutting laser for the Japanese.

    They use a 10 meter away focal point, from a cell phone like tower
    The laser is in the base of the tower. The prefered method is to make a
    sting of plasma pearls hanging in space. This works better then a long plasma channel with a lot less energy.
    Heck I have a 110V powered EO q switched water air cooled yag at 10 to 20 mJ that snaps air or blasts uncoated lenses at 20-30 hz
    bought it for 100$ off ebay. Size of a pc tower case. pictured as my avatar in my posts.

    rockets trailing a thin wire work good too.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by mixedgas View Post
    The prefered method is to make a
    sting of plasma pearls hanging in space. This works better then a long plasma channel with a lot less energy.
    How long do these plasma pearls last? Unless the laser can make a long string of them *really* fast, I'd think that the plasma would disspate before the conduction path for the lightning would be long enough to induce a strike...
    Heck I have a 110V powered EO q switched water air cooled yag at 10 to 20 mJ that snaps air or blasts uncoated lenses at 20-30 hz
    bought it for 100$ off ebay. Size of a pc tower case. pictured as my avatar in my posts.
    Bring it to SELEM 2008! Actually, maybe that's not such a good idea... I'd hate to see us get in trouble for setting fire to the curtians in the auditorium with that thing! Maybe if we only fired it out on the loading dock..?
    rockets trailing a thin wire work good too.
    Yeah, I've read about this method several times in the past. But if you're trying to protect a site, you need lots of rockets, and the launchers need to be reloaded (and re-wired) after every storm. The beauty of using a laser to create a conduction channel in air is that you never run out of shots.

    Adam

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    Bring it to SELEM 2008! Actually, maybe that's not such a good idea... I'd hate to see us get in trouble for setting fire to the curtians in the auditorium with that thing! Maybe if we only fired it out on the loading dock..?

    The limitation is the number of OD5 1064 safety glasses available. It does some really neat things to like carbon foam from IC shipments, CDs and wood/glass. Yet you hit it on skin and almost nothing unless its focused. My really cool demo is aiming it into a glass of water and a little nitrofurazone, how much green do you want? NF is a antibiotic and antifungal for fish farming that has a high nonlinear constant but doesnt make coherent light :-( A european friend pointed out that they use it for making pulsed IR laser visualizers, and I've tried it. paint a piece of paper with it and tell the guys who sell the expensive upconversion phosphors to go jump in a lake, if you have a q-switch!

    I really need to get that lid to you, and some pseudo machidas, my local surplus place just got in 24 of the MRI/ct aimer blocks with the fiber gratings, and I got 12 of em.

    Steve

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    [QUOTE=buffo;48158]How long do these plasma pearls last? Unless the laser can make a long string of them *really* fast, I'd think that the plasma would disspate before the conduction path for the lightning would be long enough to induce a strike...

    The extra ions created hang around for a while, like 200 milliseconds or more.


    Steve

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    Hey Steve;

    With regard to your CO2 laser, wouldn't you want 10,600 nm goggles? I thought only yag or vanadate lased at 1064 nm...

    The idea of using the anti-fungal chemical as a poor-mans upconversion medium is genius! Pity the output can't be made coherent though. (A CO2-pumped dye laser, now that would be neat as hell!)

    Re: the metal cover for the 903 tube... You remembered! I thought you had forgotten all about it or trashed it. Was beginning to loose hope. Yeah, getting that thing would be very helpful. I've got the tube lasing CW now, and it will make up to something north of a watt. I say "north of", because it will over-range my lasercheck!

    I've got some parts here that I should be able to assemble into a thermal meter that will be good to several watts, so once I get that put together I'll be able to see exactly what it's making. Most of the time I run it down around a half watt or so. Beautiful tube though - the plasma glow is almost as pretty as the beam itself. I walked the mirrors just a little, and the power *jumped* up. I could probably get more out of it with more careful alignment, but I want to get the power meter built first, and then get everything mounted permanently. (right now it's sitting in my living room, and everything is exposed when it's running)

    Been working on a way to mount the guts of the PSU in the back of the cooling sled... Got a few ideas, but still tinkering with the design. Also considering replacing the bearings in that one blower... It's working, but it's loud as hell. Still, it's one hell of a conversation piece. (Did I mention that it melted part of the plastic back in my wife's desk chair? Man, was she pissed!)

    Adam

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    Just got thru reformatting C:/, ..hegh ..waz that a pisser .. Well... ahm..
    Nitrogen lasers have been known to channel a thrufare in the atmosphere for lightning to pass also..so I've heard. Its been discussed that free energy could be obtained by channeling and a huge capacitor bank
    Steve- I've taken your advice and built a laser power meter with Mr. Wheatstone Bridge. Seems to be working ok. Using NTCs. 2 of 'em - one to compensate for ambient air temperature, right? Just got to calibrate now.. Using an analog meter (old Simpson with the gutz cut out )( ugh the horror..) I read in Sams where you said temperature and analog was your preferred method for power measurement.. I would post picys but I forgot to save the damn program for the camera.. i KNEW I'd forget something when I re-formatted, Arrrggghhh... Anybody know of a free (or cheap) dig-cam program? ..anyways... Y'all have a good one..

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