A model for Nd:YAG laser energy deposition in air is developed. Laser beam optics, inversebremsstrahlung absorption, plasma reflection, air breakdown chemistry and the fluid dynamics of the blast wave are modeled. The energy deposition process is simulated using this model. The effects of varying absorptivity and reflectivity on the plasma structure are studied. The simulated plasma and the detonation wave are compared with the experimental results. The CFD results are capable of capturing the main features of laser induced spark formation and the shape of the detonation wave, but the fluid dynamics that follow are not suffciently represented in quantitative terms, due to excessuve numerical dissipation.