A NOVEL LASER SYSTEM FOR FORECASTING AND MITIGATING LIGHTNING STRIKES

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$500,000.00
Award Year:
1991
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
12047
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Ophir Corp.
3190 S. Wadsworth Boulevard, S, Lakewood, CO, 80227
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Gregory J. Fetzer
Electrical Engineer
(303) 986-1512
Business Contact:
DONALD ROTTNER
PRESIDENT
(303) 986-1512
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
A NOVEL SCHEME FOR PROVIDING A PREFERENTIAL PATH THROUGH THE ATMOSPHERE ALONG WHICH LIGHTNING WILL TRAVEL IS PROPOSED. THE WORK WILL THEORETICALLY ASSESS THE FEASIBILITY OF USING A HIGH ENERGY PULSED LASER OPERATING IN THE ULTRAVIOLET (AT A WAVELENGTH NEVER BEFORE USED) TO MULTIPHOTON IONIZE TRACE ATMOSPHERIC CONSTITUENTS TO ACTUALLY TRIGGER LIGHTNING STRIKES DOWN THE LASER IONIZED PATH. THIS DEVICE COULD BE USED TO FORECAST THE PROBABILITY OF LIGHTNING STRIKES DURING VEHICLE LAUNCH AND PERHAPS EVEN TO MITIGATE THAT PROBABILITY BY HARMLESSLY AND REPETITIVELY DISCHARGING THE ATMOSPHERE AND THEREBY PROTECTING THE LAUNCHVEHICLE. THE PROPOSED PHASE I RESEARCH WILL INVOLVE TWO DISTINCT PARTS. FIRST, RESEARCH, DESIGN, AND SPECIFICATION OF A LABORATORY SYSTEM WHICH MIGHT BE USED IN A PHASE II EFFORT TO EXPERIMENTALLY VERIFY THE FEASIBILITY OF A LASER LIGHTNING ROD. SECOND, AN EXTENSION OF THE OPHIR LASER-ATMOSPHERE MODEL TO SIMULATE THE EXPERIMENTS WHICH MIGHT BE CARRIED OUT USING PHASE II.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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