skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

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

Abstract

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 usedmore » 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.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
911945
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-07-12320
TRN: US200801%%391
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
99 - GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; AMMUNITION; ATTENUATION; AUDITORY ORGANS; COMMUNICATIONS; DESIGN; EVALUATION; ORIFICES; SECURITY; SIMULATORS; TRAINING; Combat Arms Earplug; hearing protection

Citation Formats

James Lovejoy. Hearing Protection Evaluation for the Combat Arms Earplug at Idaho National Laboratory. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/911945.
James Lovejoy. Hearing Protection Evaluation for the Combat Arms Earplug at Idaho National Laboratory. United States. doi:10.2172/911945.
James Lovejoy. Thu . "Hearing Protection Evaluation for the Combat Arms Earplug at Idaho National Laboratory". United States. doi:10.2172/911945. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/911945.
@article{osti_911945,
title = {Hearing Protection Evaluation for the Combat Arms Earplug at Idaho National Laboratory},
author = {James Lovejoy},
abstractNote = {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.},
doi = {10.2172/911945},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • In 1973, a digital chemical solute-transport modeling study at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) had been used to project chloride and tritium waste plumes for 1980. The model indicated that for the conditions assumed, the wastes would be at or near the INEL southern boundary by 1980. Eight wells were drilled during the summer of 1980 near the southern boundary to fill existing gaps in the INEL hydrogeological data base, to delineate the leading edge of the waste plumes, and to monitor for first arrivals of aqueous wastes at the existing boundary of the INEL. The data from themore » eight wells were used to evaluate the accuracy of the predictive model, and the assumptions used. The subsurface geology in the southwestern INEL vicinity is dominated by thin basalt flows interbedded with layers of sediment and silicic rocks are penetrated only in those wells near the INEL's southern boundary. The Arco volcanic rift zone was found to have a marked effect on the regional ground-water flow regimen, and perhaps, on water quality. This same subsurface geologic structure appears to have lower water-yielding and transmitting capabilities than the surrounding aquifer matrix and retards the movement of aqueous wastes. The leading edges of the chloride and tritium waste plumes are 2 to 3 miles upgradient from the southern boundary of the INEL, and higher-than-background specific conductance values are measurable at about the same upgradient distance. As expected, the waste plumes projected by the computer model for 1980 extended somewhat further downgradient than indicated by well data due to conservative worst-case assumptions in the model input and inaccurate approximations of subsequent waste discharge and aquifer recharge conditions.« less
  • Aqueous chemical and radioactive wastes discharged to shallow ponds and to shallow or deep wells on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) since 1952 have affected the quality of the ground water in the underlying Snake River Plain aquifer. The aqueous wastes have created large and laterally dispersed concentration plumes within the aquifer. The waste plumes with the largest areal distribution are those of chloride, tritium, and with high specific conductance values. The data from eight wells drilled near the southern INEL boundary during the summer of 1980 were used to evaluate the accuracy of a predictive modeling study completedmore » in 1973 that simulated 1980 positions of the chloride and tritium waste plumes.« less
  • Water from 28 wells completed in the Snake River Plain aquifer at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) was sampled as part of the US Geological Survey`s quality-assurance program to determine the effect of different preservation methods on nutrient concentrations. Samples were preserved with filtration and with mercuric chloride and chilling, chilling only, or sulfuric acid and chilling. The samples were analyzed for ammonia, nitrite, nitrite plus nitrate, and orthophosphate by the US Geological Survey National Water Quality Laboratory. The study was done in cooperation with the US Department of Energy. The comparison between samples preserved with mercuric chloride andmore » chilling and samples preserved by chilling only showed that all sample pairs were in statistical agreement. Results for ammonia and nitrite plus nitrate samples preserved with sulfuric acid and chilling were within the 95 percent confidence level of the results for the samples preserved by the other two methods and can be considered equivalent to them. Results of this study indicate that discontinuing the use of mercuric chloride as a preservation method for nutrients in water samples will not affect the comparability of data collected at the INEL before and after October 1, 1994.« less
  • The U.S. Geological Survey and the Idaho Department of Water Resources, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, evaluated the water quality data collected from 55 wells and springs during 1989 and 1990 through 1992 from the southern boundary of the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory to the Hagerman area, Idaho. Water samples collected in 1989-92 were analyzed for selected radionuclides, inorganic constituents, and organic compounds. A statistical comparison between data collected in 1989 and data collected in 1990-92 along with a comparison of replicate pairs was used to evaluate changes in water quality between samples and to assess samplingmore » and analysis precision for individual constituents. The comparisons of radionuclide data showed no pattern of water quality change between samples as concentrations randomly increased or decreased. Tritium concentrations did show a consistent pattern with location in the aquifer. The largest tritium concentrations occurred in water from wells in the Big Wood and Little Wood River drainages and in the southern part of the study area where heavy irrigation occurs. The variability of radionuclide concentrations may be attributed to the change in the contract laboratory used for radiochemical analyses between 1989 and 1990. The replicate data for radionuclides showed better overall reproducibility for data collected in 1990-92 than for 1989, as 70 of 76 replicate pairs were statistically equivalent for 1990-92 data whereas only 55 of 73 replicate pairs were equivalent for 1989 data. The comparisons of most of the inorganic constituent data showed no statistical change between samples. Exceptions include nitrite plus nitrate as nitrogen and orthophosphate as phosphorus data. Fifteen sample pairs for nitride plus nitrate and 18 sample pairs for orthophosphate were not statistically equivalent and concentrations randomly increased or decreased.« less
  • Hundreds of water samples were collected by the US Geological Survey (USGS) from 177 monitoring sites for the water quality monitoring program at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory from 1989 through 1993. Concurrently, replicate pairs of samples and various types of blank samples were collected as part of the quality assurance/quality control program. Analyses were performed to determine the concentrations of major ions, nutrients, trace elements, gross radioactivity and radionuclides, organic compounds, and total organic carbon in the samples. To evaluate the precision of field and laboratory methods, analytical results of the replicate pairs of samples were compared statistically formore » equivalence on the basis of the precision associated with each result. Ninety percent or more of the analytical results for each constituent were equivalent, except for ammonia plus organic nitrogen, orthophosphate, iron, manganese, radium-226, total organic carbon, and total phenols. Blank-sample analytical results indicated that the inorganic-free blank water from the USGS Quality of Water Service Unit and the deionized water from the USGS Idaho Falls Field Office were suitable source solutions for blanks. Waters from other sources were found to be unsatisfactory as blank source solutions. Results of the analyses of several equipment blanks were evaluated to determine if a bias had been introduced and the possible sources of the bias. All of the equipment blank analytical results indicated that ammonia concentrations were greater than the reporting level. None of the equipment blanks had measurable concentrations of radioactivity. Eight percent of the analyses for inorganic constituents showed measurable concentrations were present in the blanks, nine percent for radioactive constituents, and less than one percent for organic constituents.« less