- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The U.S. military is working on a sonic weapon that manipulates a tiny ball of plasma to produce incredible noise.

The Pentagon’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons program has come up with a form of crowd control that utilizes what is called the Laser-Induced Plasma Effect to stop targets in their tracks.

Scientists with the program can now use high-energy lasers fired in short bursts to produce a little “blue ball of plasma,” Defense One reported Tuesday. Additional pulses of directed laser energy are then used to manipulate the ball to produce a noise akin to “130-decibel roar of a fighter jet,” the website reported.

“We’ve demonstrated it in the lab at very short ranges. But we haven’t been able to demonstrate it at even 100 meters. That’s … the next step,” said David Law, the program’s technology division chief, Defense One reported.

The U.S. military plans to begin testing on the $3 million project within months, Defense One reported. Funding for the project will be split evenly between Physical Optics Corp and a Tucson, Arizona-based company called GEOST.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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