Weaponized Heating of Ignited Plasma (WHIP)
Geost and the University of Arizona propose to develop a non-lethal weapon system based on dual-pulse femtosecond-nanosecond generation of dense plasma sparks in air at range. In this approach, the femtosecond laser pulse creates a dilute plasma filament, location of which is controlled through the temporal chirping of the laser pulse. The subsequent application of a high-energy nanosecond laser pulse results in the seeded optical breakdown in the filament region. The creation of the dense plasma spark is accompanied by a bright flash of visible fluorescence and a loud audible signal, both of which will serve as non-lethal deterrents. In the final system design, both the femtosecond trigger and the nanosecond heater pulses will have retina-safe emission wavelengths. In this program, we will leverage our unique experience with experiments and computer simulations of femtosecond laser filamentation in transparent media and our capabilities in commercialization and weaponization of advanced optical concepts.
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