Cloud hole-boring with infrared lasers: Theory and experiment

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Results of experimental attempts to produce an optically clear channel in a water cloud by evaporating the cloud droplets with a CO{sub 2} laser are presented. Using scattered light it is possible to visualize the clear channel produced. Measurements of the fraction of power transmitted through the channel at visible wavelengths give insight into the clearing mechanisms. The present data suggest that the water droplets explode in the process of clearing. A theoretical explanation of why this should occur is presented and predictions of the onset of droplet explosions are made. The ability to clear an optical channel in a ... continued below

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Pages: (6 p)

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Caramana, E.J.; Morse, R.L.; Quigley, G.P.; Stephens, J.R.; Webster, R.B. & York, G.W. January 1, 1989.

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Results of experimental attempts to produce an optically clear channel in a water cloud by evaporating the cloud droplets with a CO{sub 2} laser are presented. Using scattered light it is possible to visualize the clear channel produced. Measurements of the fraction of power transmitted through the channel at visible wavelengths give insight into the clearing mechanisms. The present data suggest that the water droplets explode in the process of clearing. A theoretical explanation of why this should occur is presented and predictions of the onset of droplet explosions are made. The ability to clear an optical channel in a cloud has applications ranging from defense to ground based meteorological observation. The interior of many natural clouds cannot be probed by conventional optical means due to the large optical depths often encountered. By evaporating the liquid water in a cloud, it is possible to temporarily create an optically clear channel. This paper presents results of laboratory experiments performed with the objectives of determining the conditions under which a high power pulsed CO{sub 2} laser can produce an optically clear channel and identifying the physical mechanisms responsible for the cleaning and closure of such a channel. In the present experiments, it appears that the droplets first explode resulting in an initial increase in turbidity. The smaller droplets formed by the explosion then evaporate leaving a partially cleared channel. This channel remains clear for a time period on the order of a second, finally closing by advection due to turbulence in the cloud. These findings are consistent with previous work using shorter and longer pulse lengths. 4 refs., 5 figs.

Physical Description

Pages: (6 p)

Notes

NTIS, PC A02/MF A01 - OSTI; GPO Dep.

Source

  • International conference on lasers '89, New Orleans, LA (USA), 3-8 Dec 1989

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  • Other: DE90006519
  • Report No.: LA-UR-90-166
  • Report No.: CONF-891261--4
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5087843
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1061607

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  • January 1, 1989

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  • Jan. 22, 2018, 7:23 a.m.

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  • April 26, 2018, 7:42 p.m.

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Caramana, E.J.; Morse, R.L.; Quigley, G.P.; Stephens, J.R.; Webster, R.B. & York, G.W. Cloud hole-boring with infrared lasers: Theory and experiment, article, January 1, 1989; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1061607/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.