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Improving supersonic flights with femtosecond laser filamentation

Abstract : When a flying object becomes supersonic, a concomitant increase of drag leads to a considerable rise of fuel consumption. We show experimentally that an embarked Terawatt femtosecond laser can significantly decrease this drag. A 50% transient reduction of drag is measured on a test model placed in a supersonic wind tunnel at Mach 3. This effect is initiated by the thin hot air column created in front of the supersonic object by filamentation of the laser pulse. We also show that this technique offers possibilities for steering.
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Contributor : Aurélien Houard <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 19, 2018 - 3:10:53 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 6:07:03 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 3:47:24 PM


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Paul-Quentin Elias, Nicolas Severac, Jean-Marc Luyssen, Yves-Bernard André, Ivan Doudet, et al.. Improving supersonic flights with femtosecond laser filamentation. Science Advances , American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2018, 4 (11), pp.eaau5239. ⟨10.1126/sciadv.aau5239⟩. ⟨hal-01926924⟩



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