Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 10:45 AM

Mitigating Training Related Civilian Noise Complaints through Forest Management.

Michelle Swearingen1, Patrick Guertin1, Michael White1, and Robert Lacey2. (1) U.S. Army Eng. Res. and Dev. Cntr, 2902 Newmark Dr., Champaign, IL 61826-9005, United States of America, (2) US Army, U.S. Army Eng. Res. and Dev. Cntr, 2902 Newmark Dr., Champaign, IL 61826-9005

Topographic and vegetative features can play a significant role in determining the propagation of nuisance training noise across installation/civilian boundaries. Mitigating noise issues without impacting military training can be difficult as the most effective, but least desirable, means are to restrict training as opposed to altering the training environment.  Through a combination of field experiments and theoretical/computer modeling, noise attenuation attributed to a change in forest structure over time is being examined as a method of mitigation.  Field measurements have been conducted at several Army installations.  These studies have examined the effect of forest structure on the propagation of blast-noise and small arms fire.  Data from field experiments have been used to develop a semi-analytic acoustic propagation algorithm.  These models have been merged with the output of standard forest growth and yield models to demonstrate the effect of management practice and stand growth on noise attenuation.  Initial results suggest that management of forest structure (stem density, foliage, etc.) can provide significant mitigation of small arms firing, and a very small amount of mitigation for blast noise.