On a cloudy day, ultra-fast lasers can clear the path of the sun’s rays by dispersing the clouds, while still providing satellites with a cleaner connection to the Earth.
Today, cloudy weather limits the ability of scientists to send data to satellites using lasers, as the clouds scatter laser light. However, a powerful, rapidly pulsing laser is able to knock out a small channel in the clouds through which the second laser can pass and transmit information. This is claimed by scientists who conducted a study published in the journal Optica. Such a technique can help them in the development of international quantum communication networks based on lasers that will transmit particles of light – photons.
Researchers demonstrated their idea by the example of a laboratory cloud chamber simulating cloud conditions. As described in the article, when the first laser passed through a cloud, it quickly heated the air and created a shock wave that pushed water drops from the cloud from the beam. This action, in turn, created a channel about a millimeter wide in the cloud, which allowed most of the second laser pulse to pass through the haze.
New laser technology can heat the air to ultra-high temperatures and create a shock wave that dissipates clouds / © UNIGE / Xavier Ravinet
In the future, quantum physics will help develop ultra-secure data transfer. But first you have to create a quantum Internet to transfer sensitive quantum particles from one continent to another. In 2017, China built the first quantum satellite, exchanging laser light with ground stations.
Previously, scientists who designed such satellites had to work around bad weather. Now it seems they have found a way to take matters into their own hands.