US Military months from testing a Non-lethal sonic weapon that is reminiscent of Star Wars

The Laser-Induced Plasma Effect, or LIPE, is a weapon that the U.S. military hopes to begin testing in coming months.

LIPE’s lasers fire extremely short bursts (around a nanosecond, or a billionth of a second) of directed high energy at a target. That target could be on a person, a windshield, or merely a single point in space. The energy, relatively harmless at the LIPE levels, separates electrons and nuclei at the target area to create a blue ball of plasma. Additional pulses of directed laser energy manipulate the ball to make a noise that seems to come from nowhere.

“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 technology division chief at JNLWD.

The total cost will be about $3 million, paid out in two $1.5-million small-business-innovation-research contracts to Physical Optics Corp., which is working on the lighting effects, and a Tucson-based company called GEOST, which is working on the sound.

GEOST has an advanced laser beam control system. They change focus and tilt of a high-power laser beam over large ranges at very high rates. The fast focusing mirror requirements were beyond state of the art and we were able to model, develop, integrate, test, and deliver the system within six months.

In 2009, earlier plasmas reached 100 decibels but the new system should get to 130 decibels and beyond.

First Star Wars had Kenobi Startle Sand People with a Krayt Dragon call

Noise combined with some visual for combined sound and light misinformation

It seems just a really loud noise would not startle people away or it would less effective.
But if you were to combine it with actions of some troops or with flash weapons, then you could have sound that gave the impression of more troops than were actually there or more tanks coming or bombardment from planes.

* increasing sound indicating that troops or tanks were coming or there was bombardment
* then actions of drones or few troops have a magnified effect

SOURCES – Defense One, Geost, Youtube, Wikipedia