Testing and training on our DoD ranges and weapons platforms generate several types of emissions, not the least of which is noise. Blast noise—the noise produced by large weapons, heavy artillery, and explosions—on DoD test and training ranges can lead to restrictions, curfews, and can impact military readiness. Blast noise events are usually of short duration, typically a fraction of a second, with most of the acoustical energy concentrated at low frequencies (between 1 and 100 Hz). Range closures, noise related land purchases, and complaint handling are some of the impacts that can be quantified.

The current methods used by the United States Army and Department of Defense for predicting community response to blast noise have low predictive validity and do not account for the intermittent and dynamic nature of the blast noise environments that occur on and around military installations. SERDP released a solicitation in 2006 to evaluate community response to noise, and also received a proposal for demonstration/validation efforts for an improved Noise Monitoring System in 2011. A summary of these funded efforts is provided below.

A current SERDP effort is investigating community attitudes towards military blast noise. This project aims to establish impact assessment methodologies and blast noise acceptability criteria that will serve as guidelines to protect both military training and testing capability and public welfare. This research effort was initiated in 2008 and is scheduled to be completed summer of 2014.

A current ESTCP effort is developing a better real time noise monitoring system, called Bearing and Amplitude Measurement and Analysis System (BAMAS). This innovative system aims to focus on constraints and issues that other blast noise monitors have failed to address, including having an unacceptable number of reported false positives resulting from wind noise and having an unacceptably high triggering threshold. In addition, this system will more accurately detect and classify military noises. This demonstration effort was initiated in 2011 and the successful demonstration has lead to the planned installation of this system on a DoD Range, potentially in the fall of 2014.

For more information on SERDP and ESTCP and our research and development efforts on noise and other emissions, click here.