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A Voice Only You Can Hear: DARPA’s Sonic Projector

Imagine a weapon that creates sound that only you can hear. Science fiction? No, this is one area that has a very solid basis in reality. The Air Force has experimented with microwaves that create sounds in people’s head (which they’ve called a possible psychological warfare tool), and American Technologies can “beam” sounds to specific targets with their patented HyperSound (and yes, I’ve heard/seen them demonstrate the speakers, and they are shockingly effective).

By Sharon Weinberger
June 05, 2007 | 12:20:54 PM Wired News
Sound Now the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is jumping on the bandwagon with their new “Sonic Projector” program:

The goal of the Sonic Projector program is to provide Special Forces with a method of surreptitious audio communication at distances over 1 km. Sonic Projector technology is based on the non-linear interaction of sound in air translating an ultrasonic signal into audible sound. The Sonic Projector will be designed to be a man-deployable system, using high power acoustic transducer technology and signal processing algorithms which result in no, or unintelligible, sound everywhere but at the intended target. The Sonic Projector system could be used to conceal communications for special operations forces and hostage rescue missions, and to disrupt enemy activities.

Here’s the question of the day: if the military were to beam voices into somebody’s head, what would they say?

The Army’s very strange webpage on “Voice-to-Skull” weapons has been removed. It was strange it was there, and it’s even stranger it’s gone. If you Google it, you’ll see the entry for “Voice-to-Skull device,” but, if you click on the website, the link is dead.
The entry, still available on the Federation of American Scientists‘ website reads:

Nonlethal weapon which includes (1) a neuro-electromagnetic device which uses microwave transmission of sound into the skull of persons or animals by way of pulse-modulated microwave radiation; and (2) a silent sound device which can transmit sound into the skull of person or animals. NOTE: The sound modulation may be voice or audio subliminal messages. One application of V2K is use as an electronic scarecrow to frighten birds in the vicinity of airports.

The U.K.-based group Christians Against Mental Slavery first noted the change (they also have a permanent screenshot of the page). A representative of the group tells me they contacted the Webmaster, who would only tell them the entry was “permanently removed.”
The image above is one person’s self-styled depiction of how a “voice-to-skull” weapon might work.

ALSO:

Sonic Blaster + Laser = New Weapon

Imagine being hit by a nonlethal blast that seems to explode in front of you — a deafening and blinding combination of light and sound. As the battle for “sonic blasters” heats up, a number of companies are looking at innovative ways to combine light and sound into new, nonlethal devices. One company, Wattre Corp., is working to couple its acoustic technology with a nonlethal laser. In a recent interview with DANGER ROOM, Curt Graber, president of Wattre Corp. explained this newfangled device, which puts together the company’s collimated beam of sound with another firm’s laser (which creates a sort of mid-air plasma ball). “It’s a laser that basically ignites the air in front of the person,” Graber says. “It creates fireworks right in front of you.”Hs60_promo_big
The combined effect is what Graber calls a “psycho-acoustical event.”

Wattre’s technology, called Hyperspike, is a Guinness Book of World Records winner for “loudest speaker.” As for the laser portion, produced by a company called Stellar Photonics, DANGER ROOM’s David Hambling actually has a good writeup of the technology at New Scientist. “The device uses a technology known as dynamic pulse detonation (DPD). A short but intense laser pulse creates a ball of plasma, and a second laser pulse generates a supersonic shockwave within the plasma to generate a bright flash and a loud bang,” he writes. The Plasma Acoustic Shield System will eventually combine a dynamic pulse detonation laser with a high power speaker for hailing or warning, and a dazzler light source.”
 
While the combined sound/laser weapon is certainly a novelty, Wattre Corp. has its eye on the growing long-range hailer market. It competed for a recent Navy contract that was ultimately awarded to American Technology Corp., which produces the Long Range Acoustic Device (Wattre protested the contract award; Graber says the Hyperspike technology has better beam forming capabilities in the human voice range, among other advantages).
 
While Wattre lost its protest, they’ve sold units to foreign navies, among other customers; Wattre has also made sales to France for riot control. “Now it’s just a mater of people trying to figure out the best possible usage,” he says.

Source: A Voice Only You Can Hear: DARPA’s Sonic Projector

International Campaign To End Human Rights Violations Involving Classified New Weapons of Mass Destruction: Electromagnetic and Neurological Technologies

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