Abstract

The physics of hole-boring in clouds and fogs by high-intensity ir laser beams is investigated in a zeroth-order approximation. Simple analytical expressions are obtained which describe the phenomena of interest. Application of these expressions to various types of clouds and fogs yields order-of-magnitude estimates of the laser powers required to bore holes of a given size and quality. The power requirements for hole-boring through light ground fogs or thin overcasts are in excess of 100 kW, while hole-boring through thicker overcasts will require laser powers much in excess of 10 MW. Dispersal of ground fogs over an extended area will require laser powers in the 108–109-W range and thus may not be cost effective simply in terms of energy consumption.

© 1977 Optical Society of America

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