SERDP & ESTCP Webinar Series

SERDP and ESTCP have launched a webinar series to promote the transfer of innovative, cost-effective and sustainable solutions developed through projects funded in five program areas. The webinar series targets Department of Defense and Department of Energy practitioners, the regulatory community and environmental researchers with the goal of providing cutting edge and practical information that is easily accessible at no cost.

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Blast Noise Measurements and Community Response

Mr. Jeffrey Allanach, Applied Physical Sciences Corporation

Dr. Edward Nykaza, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center

Presented April 16, 2015 – Webinar Slides

 

Webinar Topics 

A Network of Remote Sensors for Military Noise Monitoring by Mr. Jeffrey Allanach

The United States (U.S.) Armed Forces maintains a constant state of readiness by conducting testing and training activities at its military installations. Blast noise – which is the sound generated during these exercises by large weapons, heavy artillery, and explosions – is an unintended consequence but necessary for the warfighter to fulfill its mission. In the past decade, military installations have begun to use noise monitoring systems to measure and archive blast noise to better understand how it impacts surrounding residential communities. The current noise monitoring technologies employed do not accurately detect military noise and are susceptible to falsely recording sound from other sources (wind, thunder, animals, cars, and aircraft). Given the importance of these measurements in understanding its effect on the public, this SERDP/ESTCP funded project aims to develop and demonstrate a new noise monitoring system that provides accurate and real-time measures of blast noise. Additionally, this project intends to validate that a network of these systems installed around the perimeter of a military base can operate unattended and in remote outdoor environments reliably. This presentation will discuss the technology developed and the results from a yearlong demonstration.

Investigation of Community Attitudes towards Military Blast Noise by Dr. Edward Nykaza

For over forty years, the U.S. military has had an abiding interest in understanding how humans respond to blast noise (i.e., the high-intensity impulsive noise emitted by large weapons, heavy artillery, and explosions). There is both an obligation to inform the public about the environmental consequences of blast noise and a concern about the loss of training lands and capabilities caused by implementation of curfews and/or restrictions due to negative community reaction to this noise. The current methods used by the U.S. Army and Department of Defense for predicting community response to blast noise, however, 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. As a result, SERDP funded a study with the aim of (i) investigating the metrics currently used by the U.S. military to assess blast noise and assessing whether these metrics adequately account for the intermittent, impulsive, nature of blasts; (ii) examining the extent to which individual complaints are indicative of general community annoyance; and (iii) recommending scientifically defensible criteria which can be used to actively manage noise at an installation so that the sustainability of testing and training is ensured. This presentation will discuss the results of this 5-year research effort and provide a path forward. 
 

Speaker Biographies

Jeffrey Allanach

Mr. Jeffrey Allanach is a principal scientist at Applied Physical Sciences Corporation (APS) in Groton, CT. Jeffrey’s current area of research focuses on the development of acoustic tracking systems for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). He has been actively involved in the development of signal processing and systems design for passive and active SONAR systems for the past 10 years. While at APS, Jeffrey has performed as the Principal Investigator and technical lead on a broad range of DoD sponsored projects including work with ONR, DARPA, SOCOM, U.S. Army, and NSWC. Jeffrey has worked extensively in the fields of sonar systems design and modeling, detection, classification, target tracking, electronics design, and acoustic communications. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2005 with an MSEE in electrical engineering with a focus in signal processing.

Edward Nykaza

Dr. Edward (Ed) Nykaza is an Acoustical Engineer with the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), and Adjunct Professor of Acoustics at Columbia College Chicago. At ERDC, he leads multidisciplinary teams and manages a diverse research portfolio ranging from basic research to applied research. Some of his contributions to the military community include algorithms to rapidly estimate noise levels over a large region with a small number of noise monitors, leading the demonstration of new military noise monitor technology, and research findings that support the community tolerance hypothesis (i.e., each community has a unique tolerance to noise). Ed’s future contributions include leading a new multi-year work package (RAPID Military Noise Environments, 2015), which aims to provide real-time feedback/analytics of dynamic military noise environments so that installations can proactively manage their noise and reduce unnecessary testing/training restrictions.

While working full-time at ERDC, Ed recently finished his PhD (2013) in Acoustics through Penn State, with support of the ERDC Long-Term Training Award (2011). Other research achievements and recognition awards include the ERDC-Champaign Researcher of the Year (2014), Department of the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service for technical expertise and innovation as part of the ERDC Long-Range Sound Propagation Experiments (2013), and the L.R. Shaffer Research and Development Achievement Award for advances in sleep disturbance from blast noise research (2006).  
 

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