Tailoring the air plasma with a double laser pulse

Shneider, M. N.; Zheltikov, A. M.; Miles, R. B.
June 2011
Physics of Plasmas;Jun2011, Vol. 18 Issue 6, p063509
Academic Journal
We present a comprehensive model of plasma dynamics that enables a detailed understanding of the ways the air plasma induced in the atmosphere in the wake of a laser-induced filament can be controlled by an additional laser pulse. Our model self-consistently integrates plasma-kinetic, Navier-Stokes, electron heat conduction, and electron-vibration energy transfer equations, serving to reveal laser-plasma interaction regimes where the plasma lifetime can be substantially increased through an efficient control over plasma temperature, as well as suppression of attachment and recombination processes. The model is used to quantify the limitations on the length of uniform laser-filament heating due to the self-defocusing of laser radiation by the radial profile of electron density. The envisaged applications include sustaining plasma guides for long-distance transmission of microwaves, standoff detection of impurities and potentially hazardous agents, as well as lightning control and protection.


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