Military Researchers See Non-Lethal Role for Talking Lasers

Credit: ORNL

Credit: ORNL

August 27, 2019 | Source: Tech Xplore, Nancy Cohen, 3 August 2019

Say what? Laser plasma balls that can talk? The Pentagon? How, and for what? The answer is that instead of beaming a flashing light or shouting over a loudspeaker to keep people away from sensitive areas, new technology is being developed that could allow troops to fire a laser that can form a "plasma ball" that talks to the potential intruders.

Say hello to The Laser Induced Plasma Effect program, part of the Joint Non-lethal Weapons Directorate program, aimed to find ways to deter and stun adversaries without killing them. Go over to the Military Times video, which is where Todd South, ground combat reporter, explains what this is all about.Three sorts of methods at play here would be (1) giving out voice commands to warn people to stop (2) heating up a target's skin to very uncomfortable levels but without burning them, and (3) blasting confusing noises to disorient and deter.

In the video in Military Times, we hear a voice message that sounds similar to what one would hear over a somewhat distant loudspeaker:  STOP OR ELSE ... as instructions to go away, or else other means would be used to deter you. "So, what they've done is basically create a laser," said South in the video, "that can shoot out into a certain distance, and they can pipe in sound waves through it, and actually make human-voice sounds in commands." He said this becomes useful "around areas where we want the perimeters secure." "So," he continued, "you can shoot out this laser and talk to the people rather than sending troops out there."

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