WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The military may soon be testing a terrifying non-lethal weapon that can blast a target with a sound like a jet engine, reports the military blog Defense One.

The 130-decibel noise is designed to startle enemies

Called the Laser-Induced Plasma Effect (LIPE), it’s part of the military’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program.

The weapon works targeting a specific point with lasers that can split atoms to produce an awful noise that seems to come from nowhere and everywhere.

The lasers bursts fire for only a nanosecond, but that’s enough to generate a blue ball of plasma. Other lasers then hit the plasma, which creates an ear-splitting cacophony.

“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,” explained David Law, the technology division chief at JNLWD.

It’s not the first sound-weapon the military has tested. But Law says the goal is to increase the noise to 130-decibels (dB).

“Current plasmas maybe achieve 90 to 100 dB. We are trying to get to be around 130 dB or a little more,” Law said. “Every dB is a factor of 10 times the loudness. We’ve been working this in bits and pieces since 2009, but it really has been just over the past couple years that the laser technology has matured enough to be able to potentially get this kind of sound out.”

The total cost of the program is estimated to run about $3 million.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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