We demonstrate laser control of high-voltage discharges over a gap of 1.2 m filled with a dense water cloud. Self-guided filaments generated by ultrashort laser pulses are transmitted through the cloud and ionize a continuous plasma channel. The cloud typically reduces the discharge probability in given experimental conditions by 30%, but has almost no influence on the threshold required to trigger single discharge events, both in electrical field and laser energy. This result is favorable for real-scale lightning control applications.
Applied Physics Letters
- Pub Date:
- December 2004
- Plasma production and heating by laser beams;
- atmospheric electricity;
- Atmospheric electricity lightning