(USA) Scientists from the Pentagon are advancing work on plasma technology that can deliver intelligible speech to nearby locations. Instead of shouting a message over a loudspeaker on the battlefield to keep people away from sensitive areas, a new technology is being developed that could allow troops to fire a laser beam that can form a “plasma ball” that actually talks to the potential attackers.
The Laser Induced Plasma Effect program is part of the Joint Non-lethal Weapons program to find ways to deter, stun and stop adversaries instead of killing them.
The experimental laser weapon can pass through glass into a building but not yet penetrate other solid barriers. That means that in its initial stages, the technology would be best used to protect open places in the field. The projects goal is to create laser weapons that can send snippets of human speech across long distances.
This non-lethal weapon uses a principle called the “Laser Induced Plasma Effect” to accomplish this task. It involves firing a very powerful laser that creates a ball of plasma and then shooting a second laser to oscillate the plasma. This process will create sound waves that can be heard by people who are near the destination point. If the laser is sent at the right frequencies, the plasma vibrations can mimic human speech.
Pentagon scientists said that once finished, they expect to create a version of the laser that can send speech messages at large distances, hundreds of miles away. That means the laser could be sent from airplanes or ships to, for example, warn trespassers to stay away from military installations. With the right power source, such a laser device could then be mounted to vehicles to allow mobile crowd control or tell people to keep away from military convoys.