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New Breakthrough in Lightning Protection: Using Lasers to Guide Lightning Discharges

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infrastructure protection

Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Lightning Strikes: New Technique Using Laser Filaments”

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New Breakthrough in Lightning Protection: Using Lasers to Guide Lightning Discharges

Lightning is a powerful and destructive force that can cause significant damage and harm to people, particularly to critical infrastructure such as airports and launchpads. To protect these important structures, scientists and engineers have been working on new methods to guide lightning away from them. One of the most promising techniques that has been developed is the use of laser-induced filaments.

Lightning is a powerful and destructive force that can cause significant damage and harm to people, particularly to critical infrastructure such as airports and launchpads. To protect these important structures, scientists and engineers have been working on new methods to guide lightning away from them. One of the most promising techniques that has been developed is the use of laser-induced filaments.

An experimental campaign was conducted on the Säntis mountain in north-eastern Switzerland during the summer of 2021, using a high-repetition-rate terawatt laser to create these filaments. The results showed that the laser filaments were able to guide lightning discharges over considerable distances, increasing the chances of protecting critical infrastructure from lightning strikes. This is the first field-result that experimentally demonstrates lightning guided by lasers, and could pave the way for new atmospheric applications of ultrashort lasers.

This breakthrough in lightning protection represents an important step forward in the development of laser-based lightning protection for airports, launchpads and other large infrastructures. It is a significant improvement over the traditional Franklin rod method and could greatly reduce the risk of damage and casualties caused by lightning strikes.

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