ASTRID - Accompagnement spécifique des travaux de recherches et d’innovation défense

Laser Spike – Perche

Submission summary

The goal of this proposal is to demonstrate the « Laser Spike » concept in a wind-tunnel experiment. The laser spike concept uses the high-temperature plasma created with a femtosecond laser to induce a linear energy deposition upstream of a blunt body shock wave. This energy deposition reduces significantly the supersonic drag of the body. There are many defense applications of the “Laser Spike”: drag reduction on supersonic bodies, flight steering, flight stability control during sensitive flight regimes. There is also a societal and economic impact, since this concept might be useful to decrease the sonic boom intensity for the future supersonic transport aircraft. The present proposal follows an earlier project, called “Virtual Spike” that explored this concept with specific laboratory experiments and numerical simulations. Recent progresses have shown that the plasma filament created by the femtosecond impulse significantly heats up the gas. This result is a key toward the experimental demonstration of the “Laser Spike” concept. Three challenges need to be addressed for this demonstration. First, a dedicated experimental setup is needed. Second, quantitative measurements of the effect of the laser-induced energy deposition are necessary, in particular to measure the unsteady drag fluctuations and to quantify the effects on the flowfield. Third, numerical modeling is required to get a better understanding of the interaction of the laser-induced energy deposition and the supersonic flow. In this project, three partners, Onera, the LOA and Phasics bring forward their expertise and know-how to perform an experiment that could lead to several disruptive progress for the supersonic flight.

Project coordination

Paul-Quentin Elias (ONERA)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LOA Laboratoire d'Optique Appliquée
Phasics Phasics

Help of the ANR 299,825 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: February 2016 - 18 Months

Useful links

Explorez notre base de projets financés



ANR makes available its datasets on funded projects, click here to find more.

Sign up for the latest news:
Subscribe to our newsletter