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MASER heating

  1. Jul 16, 2011 #1
    Would it be possible to use a MASER to vaporize a hole in a cloud?

    How much would the current best MASERs spread out over a mile?
    What's the farthest a MASER could be from an an object and still heat it up?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2011 #2
    The answer to your questions depend on a number of factors such as the power output, the frequency and even the maser's length and diameter.

    I have a question too. How would you know there isn't a plane on the other side of the cloud?
  4. Jul 17, 2011 #3
    As for the factors... I don't know any numbers, but say you have the best possible equipment available today.

    As for the plane... Its all theoretical... I'm just wondering if it is possible. Assume no plane fly near where it is set up.
  5. Jul 17, 2011 #4


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    When you do some sums, you find that the total energy involved in vaporising and re-condensing the total amount of water to form a cloud is pretty enormous. Although one could produce some local heating and re-evaporate a small region of the cloud, it would involve a vast amount of energy to make a significant effect.
    Using a laser /maser for this sort of exercise is not, actually a good approach because they are very inefficient devices. Better to use the energy directly in the form of an electrical element or a microwave transmitter, focussed with a dish reflector. You don't need a laser thickness beam, in any case because it would soon be scattered.
    The problem is not unlike what you encounter in your bathroom on a cold morning, after taking a shower. You need the bathroom heater (say 500W) on for about 15minutes, to make any real difference to the 'steaminess'. That suggests the need for many kW, if you wanted to tunnel through a cloud effectively. If this were feasible, Fog Dispersal Systems would surely use the method everywhere. The only method that seems to work seems to be to burn tons of fuel around the runway and I think that is only done on rare occasions, if at all, in practice.
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