Hearing Protection Evaluation for the Combat Arms Earplug at Idaho National Laboratory

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The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is managed by Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC (BEA) for the Department of Energy. The INL Protective Security Forces (Pro Force) are involved in training exercises that generate impulse noise by small arms fire. Force-on-force (FOF) training exercises that simulate real world scenarios require the Pro Force to engage the opposition force (OPFOR) while maintaining situational awareness through verbal communications. The Combat Arms earplug was studied to determine if it provides adequate hearing protection in accordance with the requirements of MIL-STD-1474C/D. The Combat Arms earplug uses a design that allows continuous noise through a critical orifice ... continued below

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Lovejoy, James March 1, 2007.

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Description

The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is managed by Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC (BEA) for the Department of Energy. The INL Protective Security Forces (Pro Force) are involved in training exercises that generate impulse noise by small arms fire. Force-on-force (FOF) training exercises that simulate real world scenarios require the Pro Force to engage the opposition force (OPFOR) while maintaining situational awareness through verbal communications. The Combat Arms earplug was studied to determine if it provides adequate hearing protection in accordance with the requirements of MIL-STD-1474C/D. The Combat Arms earplug uses a design that allows continuous noise through a critical orifice while effectively attenuating high-energy impulse noise. The earplug attenuates noise on a non linear scale, as the sound increases the attenuation increases. The INL studied the effectiveness of the Combat Arms earplug with a Bruel & Kjaer (B&K) head and torso simulator used with a selection of small arms to create impulse sound pressures. The Combat Arms earplugs were inserted into the B&K head and torso ears, and small arms were then discharged to generate the impulse noise. The INL analysis of the data indicates that the Combat Arms earplug does provide adequate protection, in accordance with MIL-STD-1474C/D, when used to protect against impulse noise generated by small arms fire using blank ammunition. Impulse noise generated by small arms fire ranged from 135–160 dB range unfiltered un-weighted. The Combat Arms earplug attenuated the sound pressure 10–25 dB depending on the impulse noise pressure. This assessment is consistent with the results of previously published studies on the Combat Arms earplug (see Section 5, “References”). Based upon these result, the INL intends to use the Combat Arms earplug for FOF training exercises.

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  • Report No.: INL/EXT-07-12320
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • DOI: 10.2172/911945 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 911945
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc886745

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  • March 1, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Dec. 7, 2016, 3:13 p.m.

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Lovejoy, James. Hearing Protection Evaluation for the Combat Arms Earplug at Idaho National Laboratory, report, March 1, 2007; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc886745/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.