The US military is developing a laser that can create startling sounds out of thin air.
The Pentagon’s non-lethal weapons lab hopes to create a laser weapon that uses screaming balls of plasma to alter atoms in the air.
This ‘Laser-Induced Plasma Effect’ (LIPE) will produce startling sounds – and perhaps even intelligible words – within three years which will both baffle and terrify the enemy, experts say.
LIPE is the invention of the Virginia-based Non-Lethal Weapons Program.
The weapon is made of a laser which shoots bursts of light for ten to 15 seconds, writes Defense One.
This is just long enough to rip elections from air molecules which creates a ball of plasma.
This ball of plasma, when fired with additional laser energy, can be transformed to a high-energy missile of noise.
If it hits at the right wavelength it sounds like a haunted voice.
The energy from the lasers is relatively harmless to humans and objects, experts say.
They hope this high-tech device will stop people charging checkpoints in the future.
‘We’re this close to getting it to speak to us. I need three or four more kilohertz,’ David Law, who runs JNLWD’s technology division told Defense One.
The weapon creates noise at a specific point, meaning soldiers who are between the weapon and target would not be able to hear the sound.
Experts believe these plasma could be fired over a distance of 20 or 30 kilometres.
‘This is the first non-lethal weapon that could go out tens of kilometres’, said Mr Law.
In 2015, the Non-Lethal Weapons Program was working on the same laser but it was only being tested at a distance of 330ft (100 metres).
At the time it was estimated research and development of the weapon would cost around $3 million (£2.1 million).