There are 3 areas of scientific concern here:
Laser Light: How Much Hits Mars?Using our 3500mW [3W] blue laser, even with Mars at a lowly 17 deg alt in the sky, we were able to rain 4.4 Quadrillion photons per second down onto the surface of Mars. This was at the recent opposition of Mars [closest approach]. That’s about 2mW [energy-intensity in joules per sec] hitting Mars. So 122 Million photons per Sq Km [of ‘effective’ surface area] are smashing into Mars.
Physical/Chemical Effect On MarsJust Google “Terraforming Mars”: Wikipedia also gives a reasonable summary. A constant theme is the early need to increase atmospheric pressure. CO2 sublimation from the poles is described as a means to effect a greenhouse reaction. Water realease would also help. All that is needed is light/heat. Well, at a lesser scale, that is exactly what we are doing… We are applying light/heat to Mars.
Biological effect On MarsScientists still believe there might be very primitive life on Mars. If there is, it is probably photosynthetic and, like some plants, might prefer blue/red laser light to sunlight. Our laser light may also encourage growth of ‘dark plants’ which could enhance any greenhouse effect, plus produce O2. It is also thought that high energy blue-UV light probably first sparked life… So, might we do that for Mars?!
We used this simplified equation for air mass [Earth]:
We calculate incident sunlight intensity using:
So we also used it for laser light intensity leaving the Earth’s atmosphere.
1W & 3.5W strong blue lasers:
<3mm initial beam diameter; divergence < 2.5 mRad (Full Angle), wavelength 450nm
100mW red ‘nano’ laser:
<4mm initial beam diameter; divergence <0.5mRad, wavelength 650nm
Calculate energy of a photon:
Planet’s effective Surface Area:
SA = π r2
So can 122 blue photons per sq m actually sublimate CO2 into atmosphere? Yes, if already on the ‘cusp’.
Can these photons provide energy to photosynthetic life? Absolutely, it is a very efficient process of energy transfer.
Could it break chemical bonds and start life?… possibly!
Is it measurable? Yes, if you had a sensitive detector on Mars [this is additional to sunlight and background radiation].