RAFB measures noise levels during explosive detonation
If you were around Robins Air Force Base on Wednesday, you may have heard some loud booms coming from the base. Base officials say it was a training exercise, but it was also about keeping the public protected.
"A couple of intense noises at a very close range can actually damage your hearing permanently," said Captain Erin Artz.
That's exactly why the 116th Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base held a training exercise. The goal was to get a good foundation of noise level measurement and make sure people are protected when the Explosives Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team is in action.
"It's always important for the general public to be aware. We don't want to have EOD'S setting things off and the public not knowing why. This is a military installation," said Staff Sergeant Barham Bratton.
The difference here is constant versus impulse noise. Captain Artz says in an industrial workplace for example, people are exposed to constant sound that may fluctuate.
"The difference with impulse noise is that it's a strong burst of pressure coming in the ear quickly and then leaving the ear almost just as quickly," said Captain Artz.
The detonations are also a common training method for EOD specialists, so knowing the dangers of over exposure is key to the public's health.
"Depending on the levels, we would say ok, for what you're doing, you're only allowed 12 impacts a day or 15 impacts a day depending on what the actual sound pressure levels involved in those explosions are," said Bratton.
Artz says if the noise level gets too high, preventative measures such as ear plugs would be recommended. She also says a limit of how many explosives can be set off per day would be set.
The research will now be sent to an audiologist.