Laser filaments are beneficial in long range outdoor applications. An intense ultrashort pulse will propagate nonlinearly through air and experience a balance of self-focusing and defocusing effects to generate a filament consisting of a plasma channel and high-intensity light beam over a long range of propagation. Filaments can propagate several times the Rayleigh distance, allowing the projection of high energy densities in a small spot size over kilometer scale distances. However, filaments are limited by clamped values of their intensity, plasma electron density, plasma lifetime, and spot size. We have previously demonstrated the "stitching" of filaments to extend the plasma lifetime. This was accomplished via our burst mode optical pulse system (BMOPS), which produces a 13 ns burst of pulses separated by an interval shorter than the plasma lifetime at the 10 Hz laser repetition rate, resulting in a higher average power than a single pulse. Stitching temporally separates and precisely spatially overlaps pulses to produce a filament with a lifetime many times that of a filament formed by a single pulse. This enhanced lifetime can improve the performance of many filamentation applications. We have recently implemented BMOPS into MU-HELF, our mobile ultrafast laser sitting on a 1 km range. Here, we present initial results of stitching and spatial confinement of burst mode energy over a 250 m range through turbulent conditions.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Smith, LaShae, "Long Range Propagation of Single Laser Pulses and Bursts of Pulses Through Varying Atmospheric Conditions" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1664.
Restricted to the UCF community until May 2028; it will then be open access.