technology

Using high-energy laser beams to strike lightning strikes


European researchers have succeeded in testing a system that uses terawatt-level laser pulses to direct light at a height of 26 feet..

The design consists of nitrogen and oxygen molecules, and it releases electrons and creates a plasma that conducts electricity. Since the laser shoots at 1,000 pulses per second, it is highly likely to intercept lightning as it forms. In the test conducted between June and September 2021, the lightning followed the beam for nearly 197 feet before being struck by lightning.

Researchers have been exploring evidence of laser lightning for years, however, experiments have usually been limited to much shorter distances and relatively slow pulses that are more likely to miss lighting as they form. 100 times more heartbeats per second than in previous attempts.

It may be a long time before the laser can be used after the experiments, noted Matteo Clerici of the University of Glasgow, who did not work on the project, for the magazine The laser in the experiment costs about $2.17 billion, and the discoverers also plan to greatly expand the range, to the point where a 33-foot laser will have an effective coverage of 1,640 feet, according to the website. Engadget.

If scientists succeed, this breakthrough could make lightning protection applicable over large areas, and this would be especially useful for protecting missile launchers, as lightning strikes can delay a mission if they are too close to the flight path, and can also be useful. in protecting airports, power plants, forests and other sprawling locations where a strike could be catastrophic.

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