TRUMPF and the University of Geneva successfully conduct first experiments in EU Laser Lightning Rod project // TRUMPF ‘super laser’ lies at heart of system // “We fire a thousand laser pulses a second to discharge the lightning safely”, says laser developer Herkommer
High-technology company TRUMPF and the University of Geneva have fired up a laser-based lightning rod at the top of Säntis mountain in Switzerland. Over the next few weeks, the researchers will be using this powerful system to conduct a series of weather experiments. Their aim is to control lightning from storm clouds and direct the strikes to places where they won’t cause any damage. TRUMPF laser engineer Clemens Herkommer – who works at TRUMPF Scientific Lasers in Unterföhring near Munich – has spent the past four years developing a one-of-a-kind super laser to make this goal a reality: “The laser lightning rod is currently one of the most powerful lasers in its class. By shooting a thousand laser pulses a second into the clouds, we can safely discharge the lightning and make the world that little bit safer!” says Herkommer.