Acoem Gunfire Noise Analysis Tool system (GNAT) earns industry acclaim

Our partner Hoare Lea wins Best Project in the Environmental Noise Category at the prestigious Association of Noise Consultants (ANC) Awards 2021.

A smart noise monitoring solution has been designed with Acoem stations to provide residents with a measurement of the surrounding firing ranges.

The project included delivery of both a replacement and upgrade to the noise monitoring systems on several UK Ministry of Defence sites. This bespoke solution is now employed during training to manage noise exposure and protect civilians and animals in some of the most challenging locations across the world.

“The upgraded Gunfire Noise Analysis Tool system now supports the management of training across our rurally located ranges, supported by fixed monitors often positioned in the most inaccessible, remote locations away from the luxury of utility connections,” says Richard Snow, Senior Environmental Adviser for Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Technical Services.

The live data feed and alert system has enabled the range operations teams to manage our firing far more effectively and now have the benefit of recorded data providing real-time evidence.

Designed to meet unique requirements

These noise monitoring systems need to be operational 24/7. To make this possible, each unit is resilient to the elements, thus readily available when necessary, regardless of conditions. We also extended data gathering capabilities by utilising portable monitors with GPS. This was paired with simple, user-friendly controls to ensure easy client deployment.

Supplied through our distributor Acoustic1 (UK), the GNAT system also consists of CUBE 3G noise monitors with special 40AM GRAS high pressure, wide frequency microphones and rain-resistant weatherproof grids along with custom made windscreens – all placed in a custom cabinet.

Optimised connectivity

The unique solution includes a robust, cloud-based portal. This dedicated server safely hosts all collected data in real time and delivers automated alerts and warnings, which can be accessed securely by authorised users. Each monitor leverages mobile data, making it geographically independent and ready to use in most places across the globe.

A total of 43 systems were delivered despite challenges arising from a multitude of location-specific issues, including accessibility, power and communications, plus Brexit. No single off-the-shelf system could have achieved the MoD’s exacting requirements. All systems are location-aware, time-synchronised and constantly connected to a cloud database, with solar power as required.

“The mobile monitors, along with cameras, are currently deployed at Castlemartin Range in Pembrokeshire and the University of St Andrews. Here we are monitoring the effects of gunfire noise emissions on the seal colony at the beaches within the range, during a combined arms live fire exercise,” continues Richard.

Overseas, we have been monitoring gunfire noise in the jungles of Belize with our upgraded mobile monitors to ensure that our jungle training noise levels do not exceed the thresholds set within the Belize environmental legislation, at specified civilian receptors. Despite the humidity and remote locations, the monitors worked well and gave us the real-time data we needed to demonstrate compliance and confirm our modelled assumptions.”

The system upgrade includes an additional number of mobile monitors that are linked back to the cloud and have been deployed to address specific compliance requirements. This involved monitoring of impulse noise from small arms ranges, where the local community were challenging the noise emission levels. This gave MoD the data that could be analysed to resolve the complaints.

Hans van Setten, the EMEA Environment Sales Manager for 01dB Noise & Vibration shared, “The award recognises outstanding efforts and innovative commitment of our partner Hoare Lea and emphasises the effectiveness of the GNAT solution. At the end of the day it gives me immense satisfaction that the solution solves the client’s exact requirements while helping to protect civilians and animals.”

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