Long Range Acoustic Device

Date: 12.12.2015 Category: Naval

Long Range Acoustic Device


Long-range acoustic devices are primarily a crowd control devices. Their effects on a crowd are acute and can best be described as a blare of widely amplified sound capable of causing panics, headaches or even potential deafening effects. Over the years, long-range acoustic devices have seemed to gain widespread popularity among the law enforcement agencies like the police departments. According to the LRAD Corporation (the manufacturer) The Device has been known to emit up to 152-db beams loud enough to cause excruciating pains to people within a 100m radius. The devices can also be used to transmit spoken messages to protesting crowds. While others can be mounted on vehicle tops, others are small enough and portable to be carried around. The non-portable LRADs usually resemble a satellite dish.

The 500X model

On a typical outdoor condition, the effect of the device can be heard from as far as 650 meters. Other models like the 500X have capabilities to cause severe discomforts, for instance, headaches to people within a 300-meter radius and anyone within a 15-meter radius is probable to experience a 100 percent permanent hearing loss. For the purpose of understanding, let’s take this example: a typical lawn mower emits around 90 decibels of sound. A further emission of 40 dB (130 dB) by the lawn mower is considered the most extreme a human can handle. The LRAD Corporation precisely maintains that the device is not meant to be a weapon but rather a “directed-sound communication device.”

Used to keep birds away

The LRAD’s uses are not only confined to dispersing marauding crowds, it has also found its uses in the aviation industry where it is used to keep birds away from aeroplane navigation paths or the airport navigation lanes. Birds could sometimes be a potential danger to flying planes. They could get caught up in the airplane engines that may in turn lead to different plane malfunction such as engine overheating, loss of balance and even crashing that can lead to loss of life. Predator sounds and distress call sounds of birds are some of the sounds that could be incorporated into these devices to meet the user requirements.

In seas vessels

The device can also be used in the seas in large vessels. Its use in the sea is not very common but has always been employed to pose warning messages by the authority to individuals who seem to be breaking the law. The effects of the device during calm sea weather have been known to reach as far as 3.5 km.  It has sometimes been used to save lives of those in dangers of drowning in the seas.

Sound amplification

As the laser beam, some technicians have modified the LRAD so that it could be used to produce harmless sounds for entertainment purposes. Here, they are used to amplify sound over a long distance without causing any harm. However, despite its ability to infiltrate and acquire other diverse and positive uses, the device’s use as a mean to control crowds has currently been under criticism by some human activists together with human rights organizations, who feel the law is using the device authoritatively. Some human rights organizations have raised an alarm concerning the device’s ability to cause total hearing loss. Instead, they advocate for the use of other human-tolerant ways.