Propagation of CO2 Laser Radiation Through lce Clouds: Microphysical Effects

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  • 1 Department of Meteorology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84112
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Abstract

Preliminary investigation of the effects of irradiating artificial ice crystals with 10.6 μm CO2, laser radiation reveals that laser beam-ice crystal interactions can be quite disruptive to ice cloud content under some conditions. The responsible mechanism is the high absorption coefficient of ice at the 10.6 μm laser wavelength, but the effects produced by the resultant internal particle heating appear to be controlled by heat dissipation processes and are functions of both CW laser beam power density and ice crystal size. Observed effects resulting from CO2 laser irradiation range from the instantaneous fragmentation of large crystal branches to changes in the habit of growing ice crystals.

Abstract

Preliminary investigation of the effects of irradiating artificial ice crystals with 10.6 μm CO2, laser radiation reveals that laser beam-ice crystal interactions can be quite disruptive to ice cloud content under some conditions. The responsible mechanism is the high absorption coefficient of ice at the 10.6 μm laser wavelength, but the effects produced by the resultant internal particle heating appear to be controlled by heat dissipation processes and are functions of both CW laser beam power density and ice crystal size. Observed effects resulting from CO2 laser irradiation range from the instantaneous fragmentation of large crystal branches to changes in the habit of growing ice crystals.

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