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The US Mil­i­tary Has Made a Laser Device That Directs Ghost­ly Screams at The Ene­my

For the US Depart­ment of Defense (DoD), killing peo­ple isn’t all that com­pli­cat­ed. A bud­get of more than US$600 bil­lion per year buys a whole lot of tanks, guns, and bombs.

But not killing some­one proves to be a bit more com­pli­cat­ed. How about just stun­ning them a bit from far away? Or maybe set­ting their clothes on fire with­out hav­ing to look them in the face?
The pro­gram’s pur­pose: to devel­op weapons and oth­er devices mil­i­tary per­son­nel can use to inca­pac­i­tate tar­gets with­out out­right killing them.
As explained on the pro­gram’s FAQ, the goal of the JNLWD is to fill the gap between “shout and shoot” (tru­ly, we should all be grate­ful the armed forces acknowl­edge that such a gap exists).
The JNL­WD’s lat­est break­through is the Non-Lethal Laser-Induced Plas­ma Effect (NL-LIPE) sys­tem. They recent­ly gaveDefense One a look at the in-devel­op­ment device. And it’s tru­ly a sight to behold.
Rather, a sound to behold. Take a lis­ten below (and maybe make sure your pets are out of the room because, we promise, they real­ly hate this).
Here’s how this device is use­ful.
Imag­ine an ene­my is get­ting a bit too close for com­fort, and you want them to back off.
You could use a stun grenade, a blind­ing flash of light and noise that leaves the ene­my dis­ori­ent­ed and stunned. Those only work if you’re close enough to throw them, though.
And maybe you have some good guys stand­ing in between. How do you blast the ene­my but not the good guys? That’s where the lasers come in.
First, the NL-LIPE oper­a­tor shoots a burst of light at the tar­get using a fem­tosec­ond laser. This rips elec­trons from the air mol­e­cules to cre­ate a ball of plas­ma at the tar­get­ed site.
The oper­a­tor then manip­u­lates the plas­ma ball using a sec­ond nanolaser, direct­ing the plas­ma to pro­duce sound or light, or even burn cloth­ing.
Right now, of course, the tech­nol­o­gy is still in devel­op­ment, so it only works under pret­ty spe­cif­ic con­di­tions.
Even­tu­al­ly, though, the mil­i­tary thinks it could get the device to work at dis­tances of tens of kilo­me­ters, David Law, head of JNL­WD’s tech­nol­o­gy divi­sion, told Defense One.
That would give it a longer range than any oth­er non-lethal weapon.
Law also said the researchers believe they’re very close to get­ting their device to out­right “speak” to them, but the creepy almost-voice it already pro­duces would like­ly be enough to get any ene­mies to turn tail.

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