Abstract

Self-focusing and filamentation of high-power pulsed laser radiation along a spectrally selective absorbing air path are numerically simulated in three spectral ranges centered at 0.8, 3.9, and 10.6 μm. A detailed comparative analysis of the main pulse parameters in the filamentation area is performed to examine the potential of various laser sources for atmospheric optics. We found that the radiation of mid-IR lasers (3.9 and 10.6 μm) forms the longest filamentation region and the widest supercontinual spectrum in comparison with near-IR radiation. Filamentation of the 3.9 μm laser pulse results in the best spatially continued plasma channel, while the 10.6 μm pulse retains the widest spectral composition under the conditions of strong molecular absorption in the atmosphere.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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