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Ozone Laser Satellite

hooray for lasers
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Ground level ozone is considered a pollutant. Ozone high up in air, 13 miles up at a concetration of around 10ppm, is considered beneficial.

Certain wavelengths of light contribute to ozone formation. It shouldn't be hard to launch a satellite that can aim laser beams through the upper atmosphere(and not going through the lower atmosphere) to induce ozone formation.

From the satellite's view, it would be aiming at the "edges" of the earth. to understand what I mean, take a tennis ball, and put it in a funnel. The rays would be in the shape of the funnel. They'd only hit the green fuzz of the tennis ball(upper atmosphere), not the rubber (lower atmosphere and ground)

The satellite's optimal positions change seasonally, so the lasers will have to be able to rotate and re-aim. These will augment the sun's ozone generating propoerties in the summer, and cause at least some ozone generation in the winter, where there otherwise would be none.

Like nearly all man-made satellites, these would use solar power. One satellite would not make much of a dent in the ozone hole, but we can add more satellites later.

Madai, Apr 29 2005

Some ozone link http://www.climate....s/ozone/index.shtml
[Madai, Apr 29 2005]

Ionic Breeze link http://www.bookofjo...indthemedspe_5.html
[darkboy115, May 02 2005]


       Or better yet, make a giant Sharper Image Ionic Breeze air purifier. Notorious for producing unhealthy levels of ozone in your house.
darkboy115, Apr 29 2005

       Numbers please? Which is the optimal wavelength of light, and how many gigawatts of that wavelength or light are already delivered to the earth's atmosphere by the sun?

I agree with darkboy (sort of). If you want to make ozone, it's hugely more efficient to make it some other way and pump it up there (yes, even all the way up there). Or float some humungous solar-powered dirigibles with ozone generators.
Basepair, Apr 29 2005

       Pumping it up there is impossible. The ozone layer is about 13 miles off the ground:   

       Balloons can maybe get high enough, though. The hot-air record is 65,000 feet, just right about 13 miles.   

       The best wavelengths for ozone formation are less than 240 nanometers.   

       Keep in mind that antartic spring (october) is the time of worst depletion. Why? Because their is no sun in antartica in winter, and thats when ozone dies off alot.
Madai, Apr 29 2005

       "Pumping it up there is impossible." Probably true, I agree. But I'd wager my finest gerbil that you could generate the ozone electrostatically at ground level and get it up there somehow and *still* have greater efficiency than your laser system.

I may well be wrong, of course (I am not particularly fond of gerbils, as it happens). But some numbers would help. In particular, I repeat, how much solar energy in the right wavelength range is delivered by the sun? (To be precise, what is the total equivalent power at 240nm, allowing for the fact that nearby wavelengths will presumably be almost as effective in generating ozone.) My guess is that you'd need gigawatts of laser light to have any detectable effect.
Basepair, Apr 29 2005

       Perhaps the satellite could generate chlorofluorocarbons and release them over the pole?
bungston, Apr 29 2005

       Wow. If this idea could work we could even be more irresponsible with our emmissions.   

       Was my sarcasm lock key pressed there? I'm pretty sure it was....   

       oh yeah... idea.
Giblet, Apr 29 2005

       A giant ionic breeze attached to a plane. Is that possible? It could clean the air of particles while producing ozone.
darkboy115, May 02 2005

       Well, Basepair, solar panels are usually around 10% efficient, 30% for some very very high quality ones, but let's just say 10% for these purposes.   

       Now not all those wavelengths are ozone-forming, but for practival purposes, let's say the satelite does 10% what the sun can do. so, if each satelite has only 10 square meters of solar collection, each satelite will be the equivalent of 1 square meter worth of sun. Not much, but more than the artic is getting in the middle of winter.   

       Meanwhile, the ground-level ozone probably wouldn't work the way you want it too. You can either by delivering it to a fixed point, or be using airplanes to deliver it to the right altitude. but either way, you'll probably be delivering a concetrated amount of ozone to a relatively small area. And that wouldn't mimic the natural ozone layer well enough: It's only 10 ppm at it's strongest point.
Madai, May 02 2005

       The lasers will be BIG and so will the power supply, so best keep them on the ground. Nuclear is the only real answer to these kind of power requirements, preferably fusion although we don't know how to do it yet. If you could find a pair of laser wavelengths that will cut through cloud and will interfere to give a 240nm light, you could send up two beams (or better still two planes) that will cross at around 13 miles up giving rise to ozone producing light.
wagster, May 04 2005

       Doing it from the ground wouldn't work. the laser light would have to pass through the thick lower layers, producing harmful ground-level ozone.   

       And, electromagnetic radiation does not "interfere" in the way I think you are suggesting. You must emit the 240nm light, you can't take a 220 nm and 260 nm beam to combine together to make a 240 beam.   

       As for energy source, solar is best way to go. We want small, low power lasers that gently augment the ozone layer, remember, 10 ppm is what we are shooting for. It's far better to have many weak lasers, than a couple of big ones, big lasers mean the effective is not spread out well enough, and the system is not redundant enough.
Madai, May 04 2005


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