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Curvature aided long range propagation of short laser pulses in the atmosphere

The pre-filamentation regime of propagation of a short and intense laser pulse in the atmosphere is considered. Spatiotemporal self-focusing dynamics of the laser beam are investigated by calculating the coupled differential equations for spot size, pulse length, phase, curvature, and chirp functions of a Gaussian laser pulse via a variational technique. The effect of initial curvature parameter on the propagation of the laser pulse is taken into consideration. A method relying on the adjustment of the initial curvature parameter can expand the filamentation distance of a laser beam of given power and chirp is proposed.