Function and Technological Details
The Sonic Resonator works on the active (as opposed to passive) sonar principle, by emitting powerful pulses of sound, then receiving the waves as they bounce back off the rock of the Hollow. Based on the distortion, strength and other properties of the received pulses, it can generate a 3-D map of the surrounding tunnel systems. This data was presumably then transmitted by the Resonator back to Control. It is possible that the resonator employs explosives to generate these sound waves, as Marcus Fenix refers to the device as having been 'detonated', although it may be some other unexplained technology. In any case, the sound pulses are extremely powerful, having the ability to shatter solid stone hundreds of metres away in any direction.
Designing and producing the Sonic Resonator
The development for the Sonic Resonator was being executed by the Defense Research Agency, and efforts to fully develop the device were still ongoing during the tenth year of the Locust War, in 10 A.E. At the same time, the Lightmass Bomb, a powerful imulsion-based bomb, was still on the drawing board.
Readiness for military deployment
Four years later, in Gale in 14 A.E., the Sonic Resonator and the Lightmass Bomb were ready for deployment. When the Lightmass Bomb and the Resonator became ready for deployment, Chairman Richard Prescott was informed by Payne that the Lightmass Bomb was ready for deployment, even though the devices hadn't even passed inspection. Prescott then reported to Colonel Victor Hoffman that the devices were ready for deployment. A plan was organized to jump-start the operation; the plan was to have Alpha Squad, led by Lieutenant Minh Young Kim, take the Resonator and deploy it underground below the Lethia Imulsion Facility, acquire the targeting data, then fire the Lightmass Bomb into the tunnels of the Hollow.
The Sonic Resonator was carried by Alpha Team to map out the Locust tunnels, and provide targeting data for the deployment of the Lightmass Bomb. During an intense firefight just outside the Tomb of the Unknowns, most of the squad was wiped out except for Damon S. Baird and Augustus Cole, so they were reassigned to Delta-One, and they, along with Marcus Michael Fenix and Dominic Santiago, had to transport and deploy the Resonator. The Resonator was successfully deployed at the Lethia Imulsion Facility, but much to the COG's surprise and outrage, the device failed to operate properly and only provided intelligence on an insignificant fraction of the Hollow. Despite this failure, Delta Squad was able to locate a much more complete source of data on the Hollow from the laboratory of the late scientist Adam Fenix. How Adam Fenix was able to map such an extensive amount of the Hollow without Resonator technology is unexplained, however he almost certainly did not use Resonator technology due to its ineffectiveness, even years later.
The Resonator is carried throughout the Gears of War campaign by Augustus Cole after Delta Squad recovered the remnants of Alpha Squad. The Sonic Resonator, however, proved to be an ineffective way of mapping tunnels when COG Control reported that it had only mapped a fragment of the necessary area due to insufficient data on the Locust network. The Resonator was left at the imulsion facility and was likely destroyed when the Hollow was eventually destroyed by the Lightmass Bomb.
Behind the Scenes
- The render model used for the Sonic Resonator is, for some reason, reused as the main artificial intelligence terminal of Niles Samson at the New Hope Research Facility in Gears of War 2.