- Conference date: 25−29 Oct 1993
- Location: Monterey, California (USA)
For a number of years, we have numerically investigated intense microwave pulse propagation in the atmosphere. For short pulses (<20 ns), full‐wave electron fluid computer codes were used. These codes have been impractical for pulses longer than several hundred cycles due to memory limitations. To overcome such limitations, nearly time‐harmonic, one‐ and two‐dimensional (1D and 2D), electric field envelope codes were developed and applied to atmospheric and laboratory microwave situations. In this work, we extend the 1D code, based on cascade ionization, to frequencies for CO2 and neodymium glass laser pulses. We consider plane‐wave propagation and breakdown in the lower atmosphere (0–10 km of altitude) for several incident electric field amplitudes, waveshapes, and pulse lengths. Electric field waveshapes and electron density spatial profiles are shown. Breakdown thresholds are computed for pulse lengths from 0.1–10 ns for square and Gaussian pulses. These thresholds are compared to a published analytic formula.
- Atmospheric electricity
- Microwave breakdown
- Carbon dioxide
- Computer simulation
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