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Sci Rep. 2015 Dec 18;5:18681. doi: 10.1038/srep18681.

Direct observation of laser guided corona discharges.

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State Key Laboratory of High Field Laser Physics, Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.
Centre d'Optique, Photonique et Laser (COPL) and Département de physique, de génie physique et d'optique, Université Laval, Québec, Québec G1V 0A6, Canada.


Laser based lightning control holds a promising way to solve the problem of the long standing disaster of lightning strikes. But it is a challenging project due to insufficient understanding of the interaction between laser plasma channel and high voltage electric filed. In this work, a direct observation of laser guided corona discharge is reported. Laser filament guided streamer and leader types of corona discharges were observed. An enhanced ionization took place in the leader (filament) through the interaction with the high voltage discharging field. The fluorescence lifetime of laser filament guided corona discharge was measured to be several microseconds, which is 3 orders of magnitude longer than the fluorescence lifetime of laser filaments. This work could be advantageous towards a better understanding of laser assisted leader development in the atmosphere.

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