Non-lethal weapons are used in a variety of situations and contexts: during riots, as deterrents, and more. Shooting bean bags and pepper spray isn’t always ideal, however, and the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program group is actively developing alternatives. One such alternative is LIPE, which stands for Laser-Induced Plasma Effect weapon. LIPE is essentially a noise gun, one that works by shooting a blue ball of plasma that produces a very loud noise directed at a very precise target, such as a car’s windshield.
LIPE works by shooting nanosecond laser bursts of high energy at a specific target. The laser bursts are mostly harmless, but creates what is described as a “blue ball of plasma”, which is manipulated by further bursts of a laser that cause the ball to produce very loud noise. The noises, to those who experience them, will seem to come from nowhere.
The military will be testing LIPE, which will have a total cost nearing $3 million. So far the researchers have gotten their non-lethal plasma weapon to work at unspecified short ranges, but not at longer distances, of which 100 meters seems to be considered the minimum. That is the next step in developing the weapon.
The researchers are also pushing to produce noise at 130dB or higher, which is incredibly loud, especially when you’re not expecting it and can’t see the source. The program will be fully evaluated in May 2016, at which point it will become clear whether the researchers succeeded and whether, in the future, riots and such will be fought with noise.
SOURCE: Defense One