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Troops in Iraq Get High-Tech Noisemaker
AP ^ | March 2, 2003

Posted on 03/02/2004 5:18:31 PM PST by Shermy

NEW YORK - U.S. soldiers in Iraq have new gear for dispersing hostile crowds and warding off potential enemy combatants. It blasts earsplitting noise in a directed beam.

The equipment, called a Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, is a so-called "non-lethal weapon" developed after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen as a way to keep operators of small boats from approaching U.S. warships.

The devices have been used on some U.S. ships since last summer as part of a suite of protection measures.

Now, the Army and Marines have added this auditory barrage dispenser to their arms ensembles. Troops in Fallujah, a center of insurgency west of Baghdad, and other areas of central Iraq in particular often deal with crowds in which lethal foes intermingle with non-hostile civilians.

The developer of the LRAD, American Technology Corp. of San Diego, recently got a $1.1 million contract from the U.S. Marine Corps to buy the gadgets for units deployed to Iraq. The Army also sent LRADs to Iraq to test on vehicles.

Some of the Iraq-bound devices will be used by members of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, both recently deployed to the western province of Al Anbar, a largely barren, predominantly Sunni Muslim area.

Though not officially part of the military's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, the 45-pound, dish-shaped device belongs to a developing arsenal of technologies intended not to kill but to deter.

Another such weapon, expected to be tested in the field soon, is the Active Denial System. It seeks to repel enemies with a painful energy beam.

Carl Gruenler, vice president of military and government operations for American Technology Corp., said LRADs are "in the beginnings of being used in Baghdad," though he said he lacked "initial feedback" on how they are working.

Dubbed "The Sound of Force Protection" in a company brochure, the devices can broadcast sound files containing warning messages. Or they can be used with electronic translating devices for what amounts to "narrowcasting."

If crowds or potential foes don't respond to the verbal messages, the sonic weapon, which measures 33 inches in diameter, can direct a high-pitched, piercing tone with a tight beam. Neither the LRAD's operators or others in the immediate area are affected.

The devices "place distance between the Marine and their threat, giving him/her more time to sort out a measured and appropriate response," Lt. Col. Susan Noel, force protection officer for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said in an ATC statement announcing the contract.

Gruenler compares the LRAD's shrill tone to that of smoke detectors, only much louder. It can be as loud as about 150 decibels; smoke detectors are in the 80 to 90 decibel range.

"Inside 100 yards, you definitely don't want to be there," said Gruenler, adding that the device is recommended for a range of 300 yards or less.

Hearing experts say sound that loud and of that high a frequency — about 2,100 to 3,100 hertz — could be dangerous if someone were exposed to it long enough.

"That's a sensitive region for developing hearing loss," said Richard Salvi, director of the Center for Hearing and Deafness at the University at Buffalo. "The longer the duration, the more serious it is."

Gruenler concedes that permanent hearing damage is possible if someone were exposed to the sound for lengthy periods.

But he said the high-pitched tone is intended to only be used for a few seconds at a time.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 1stmef; 3rdmaw; lrad; marines; miltech; nonlethalweapons

Carl Gruenler, vice president of military and government operations for American Technology Corp. displays the Long Range Acoustic Device at the company's plant in Poway, Calif. The device to be used by American soldiers in Irag is meant to disperse hostile crowds by broadcasting an earsplitting tone.

1 posted on 03/02/2004 5:18:32 PM PST by Shermy
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To: archy; swarthyguy; Grampa Dave; Petronski; okie01
PING!
2 posted on 03/02/2004 5:19:54 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Shermy
Thanks for the ping.

Can anyone help me out on the science on this: I seem to recall a crowd-control device that involved super-low frequencies...something about a certain sub-20hz frequency that induced in the human nervous system (through the spinal column IIRC) a palpable sense of panic and fear.

I either saw a fascinating documentary on the topic, or I am hallucinating badly and need to be sedated. You decide. ;O)
3 posted on 03/02/2004 5:23:33 PM PST by Petronski (John Kerry looks like . . . like . . . weakness.)
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To: section9
I think you will like this story.
4 posted on 03/02/2004 5:26:17 PM PST by Petronski (John Kerry looks like . . . like . . . weakness.)
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To: Poohbah
You heard of this San Diego outfit?
5 posted on 03/02/2004 5:28:00 PM PST by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: Shermy
Hey they had that gadget on practical to tactical on the history channel...

I could use one of those for the university students that thinks it great to stay up listening to rap music until 03:00...
6 posted on 03/02/2004 5:28:44 PM PST by MD_Willington_1976
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To: Petronski
Human body resonates around 7Hz apparently...with enough power at that frequency you could make someone fall apart...

Fun stuff...
7 posted on 03/02/2004 5:29:56 PM PST by MD_Willington_1976
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To: Shermy
So that's what the Navy used to kill all those whales!!
8 posted on 03/02/2004 5:30:59 PM PST by Lou L
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To: MD_Willington_1976
I could use one of those for the university students that thinks it great to stay up listening to rap music until 03:00...

How about at Ketchup Boy Kerry rallys???

9 posted on 03/02/2004 5:32:37 PM PST by CommandoFrank (If GW is the terrorist's worst nightmare, Kerry is their wet dream...)
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To: CommandoFrank
Now your onto something...
10 posted on 03/02/2004 5:36:10 PM PST by MD_Willington_1976
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To: Petronski
This is the same techology, albeit a bit louder, as the directed audio advertising they now have in many stores.

You stand in front of a display or product and ONLY you can hear the sales pitch that is focused only on you.

What you were thinking of is the device - now hidden from public knowledge - that was published back around 1985-1990 or thereabouts in Popular Science or Science & Experiments magazine for a burglar alarm / Deterent that was low-freq sound based.

The closer a burglar or anyone came to the source, the worse they felt - the problem was, it was easy to figure that if you increased the amplitude of the waves, you greatly increased the effects.

Get too close to the amplified versions and you could have a boiled brain...or at least a bit scrambled.

It was supposed to only deter crime
11 posted on 03/02/2004 5:38:31 PM PST by steplock ( Or)
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To: Shermy
What? What? Did you say somthin'?
12 posted on 03/02/2004 5:41:14 PM PST by No Truce With Kings (The opinions expressed are mine! Mine! MINE! All Mine!)
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To: MD_Willington_1976; steplock
I am happy to hear that something I remember with such detail is grounded in reality and not madness.

Note to self: avoid 7Hz-capable loudspeakers.

13 posted on 03/02/2004 5:43:47 PM PST by Petronski (John Kerry looks like . . . like . . . weakness.)
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To: Petronski
Don't know about your devices (though I seem to recall something about optical devices around 13 Hz being disruptive), but I can tell you from personal experience that continuous very high-volume sound has the potential to bring on unconsciousness in a few seconds (I didn't actually lose consciousness during my ~6 seconds of exposure but I don't think I was far from it).
14 posted on 03/02/2004 5:47:45 PM PST by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: Shermy; Robert A. Cook, PE
This is interesting. Reminds me of the acoustic lens I built (and analyzed) for a physics course.
15 posted on 03/02/2004 5:51:36 PM PST by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: Shermy
The device to be used by American soldiers in Irag is meant to disperse hostile crowds
by broadcasting an earsplitting tone.


I think we've just found the cure for cars assaulting neighborhoods with
ear-splitting music...
16 posted on 03/02/2004 5:57:08 PM PST by VOA
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To: Shermy
I hope that the IDF is looking at these. It's hard to throw rocks with your hands clamped over your ears.
17 posted on 03/02/2004 5:57:12 PM PST by Riley
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To: VOA
I think we've just found the cure for cars assaulting neighborhoods with ear-splitting music...

YES! I hate that! And for these jackasses who drive into the apartment complex here and stand on their horns to let their friends know to come out.

I was looking into EMP for this at one point- drive through the neighborhood with your stereo blaring, your car's eletronics become toast for no apparent reason. It'd cost a fortune to fix, if it could be fixed at all...

18 posted on 03/02/2004 6:02:30 PM PST by Riley
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To: Shermy
Normal speech is about 60db
Front row at a rock concert is 110 db
Human threshold of Pain is about 130 db
A jet taking off is about 140 db
Instant perforation of eardrums is 160 db

This sounds like an effective non-lethal weapon.

19 posted on 03/02/2004 6:18:15 PM PST by wolicy_ponk (If con is the opposite of pro, is congress the opposite of progress?)
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To: Shermy
Looks like the protestors at the next tradefest might be in trouble.

Unless someone comes up with a neutraliser of some kind.
20 posted on 03/02/2004 6:26:59 PM PST by swarthyguy
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To: Petronski

"...something about a certain sub-20hz frequency that induced in the human nervous system (through the spinal column IIRC) a palpable sense of panic and fear."


Sounds like some of the symptoms Europeans are claiming to suffer from the "woosh" of wind farms. (They're wooshies.....sorry)

The LRAD is good thinking, though, and might help in tracking "persons of interest" ... who soon will be:
1) hard-of-hearing and easier to sneak up on, or
2) wearing ear protectors.
21 posted on 03/02/2004 6:28:14 PM PST by WestTexasWend
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To: Petronski
I could have sworn I saw an article posted here about that. The idea came from great cats... I recall tigers specifically. They make very low frequency sounds when confronting prey. It is said to stun them.
22 posted on 03/02/2004 6:31:01 PM PST by grimalkin ("Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment." -C.S. Lewis)
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To: Petronski
I've long wanted to have such a device mounted on my car so that the next time I'm stopped for revenue purposes I can make the cop soil his trousers before he reaches my car. Then I'll fiegn not being able to find my registration for a minute or two while it slides down his pants leg.
23 posted on 03/02/2004 6:32:50 PM PST by eno_ (Freedom Lite - it's almost worth defending)
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To: eno_
Note to self: build and deploy a 7Hz emitter. (Contact eno_ with specs and instuctions.)
24 posted on 03/02/2004 6:35:30 PM PST by Petronski (John Kerry looks like . . . like . . . weakness.)
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To: Shermy
(Sounds) like a great plan, but a suggestion:
Set it up with a sound like a baby crying, now that would drive anyone nuts.

Cant wait till a civilian version comes out.
Would be great to use on drive by boomers
25 posted on 03/02/2004 6:38:44 PM PST by 76834
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To: Shermy
I saw this thing a few weeks ago on one of the educational channels.

It seemed a bit big and cumbersome to me, but, what do I know.
26 posted on 03/02/2004 6:41:49 PM PST by Guillermo (It's tough being a Miami Dolphins fan)
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To: swarthyguy
Looks like the protestors at the next tradefest might be in trouble. Unless someone comes up with a neutraliser of some kind.

Unfortunately there IS one device which neutralizes these waves...

27 posted on 03/02/2004 6:57:42 PM PST by montag813
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To: CommandoFrank
How about at Ketchup Boy Kerry rallys???

Yeah. The military is planning on broadcasting Kerry's speeches and it is guaranteed to put anyone asleep.

28 posted on 03/02/2004 6:59:18 PM PST by Radioactive
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To: Shermy
Cool. I like seeing this kind of stuff.

What I want to see (in order to satisfy a personal theory) is a weapon that makes the enemy instantly crap his pants. (ok, A10 Warthog aside) Could you imagine a thing like that? Turn it on an unruly crowd and they all get an uncontrollable case of the runs? My personal theory is, it would take the steam out of 'em just like that. I don't think people would be agressive with their lunch running down their legs.

Then again, they'd probably just start showing up to the riot with diapers.

Still be funny to see.
29 posted on 03/02/2004 7:29:37 PM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: Petronski
It could actually be quite challenging. A normal loudspeaker would be horribly inefficient at that frequency. Even a horn would be troublesome. So the question is if it is possible to make a really small hydraulic emitter, like a small whistle or organ pipe tuned to 7hz. Which gets you into the physics of hydraulic emitters smaller than the wavelength.
30 posted on 03/03/2004 3:44:58 AM PST by eno_ (Freedom Lite - it's almost worth defending)
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To: Petronski
And at the other end of the spectrum the Russians used to use higher frequencyies against the US embassy in the USSR, they did quite a bit of experimenting with it on how it could be used to motive people and to cause problems...the us military has been playing with HF weapons too, actually you can focus beams of HF at incoming devices like missiles and scramble their electronic brains...

http://www.house.gov/jec/hearings/02-25-8h.htm

http://liun.hektik.org/hightech/herf/ISTAS.htm

Have fun...put your foil hat on too

MD
31 posted on 03/03/2004 12:13:42 PM PST by MD_Willington_1976
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To: Shermy

32 posted on 03/03/2004 2:13:43 PM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: finnman69

33 posted on 03/03/2004 2:15:29 PM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: Shermy

34 posted on 03/03/2004 2:17:36 PM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: finnman69
LOL! That is the funniest spoof photo I've seen in a long time. :-)
35 posted on 03/03/2004 2:30:38 PM PST by Theo
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To: eno_
I think my old wind up alarm clock worked at about that 7Hz. Ok, maybe closer to 3Hz, but more than enough to cause me pain.

Seriously though, a gong like device, or bell, being struck by a solenoid could operate very well at that frequency.
36 posted on 03/03/2004 2:45:11 PM PST by Outlaw76 (Citizens on the Bounce!)
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To: Outlaw76
The problem is that the energy is in the bell ringing, not a 7hz tone. To really do a 7hz tone you would need a big pipe and a pump that could move a large amount of air into it. The saving grace is that is would not have to be very precise.
37 posted on 03/03/2004 2:49:24 PM PST by eno_ (Freedom Lite - it's almost worth defending)
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To: Petronski
There was a South Park where Yoko Ono put together a world wide festival, and the boys amplified Kenny G or someone playing "The Brown Note". Everyone crapped their pants.

I guess you had to see it to appreciate it.

38 posted on 03/03/2004 3:05:02 PM PST by Wumpus Hunter (<a href="http://moveon.org" target="blank">Communist front group</a>)
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To: Shermy
Thanks Shermy! You beat me to the post on this one. Keep it up! There is a related tech from MIT and used in vehicles and museums. Ever hear voices in you head? Well that is the point! It's quiet all around except in your ears. In a car or club several people can listen to different stations.
Audio Spotlight

The devices have been used on some U.S. ships since last summer as part of a suite of protection measures.

This way you could send signals ship2ship

39 posted on 03/06/2004 10:28:23 PM PST by endthematrix (To enter my lane you must use your turn signal!)
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