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Acoustic Weapons—A Prospective Assessment: Sources, Propagation, And

Acoustic Weapons—A Prospective Assessment: Sources, Propagation, And

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Acoustic Weapons—A Prospective Assessment: Sources, Propagation, and Effects ofStrong SoundJürgen Altmann Experimentelle Physik III Universität Dortmund, Dortmund, GermanyCORNELL UNIVERSITY PEACE STUDIES PROGRAM OCCASIONAL PAPER #22 ©May 1999
 
© 1999 Cornell University Peace Studies Program. All rights reserved. ISSN 1075-4857 Acoustic Weapons—A Prospective Assessment: Sources, Propagation, and Effectsof Strong SoundJürgen AltmannThe Peace Studies Program was established at Cornell in 1970 as aninterdisciplinary program concerned with problems of peace and war, arms controland disarmament, and more generally, instances of collective violence. Its broadobjectives are to support graduate and post-doctoral study, research, teaching andcross-campus interactions in these fields. Copies of Occasional Papers may beordered from: Peace Studies Program 130 Uris Hall Cornell University Ithaca, NY14853-7601
 
Table of Contents Abstract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .iiiPreface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iv 1. Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.1 Acoustic Weapons as Part of "Non-lethal" Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.2 SomeHistoric Aspects of Acoustic Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . 3 1.3 ActualDevelopments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 1.4 Goals of This Report . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 1.5General Remarks on Acoustics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 2. Effects of Strong Sound on Humans . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 2.1 GeneralRemarks on the Ear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . 10 2.1.1 Hearing and HearingDamage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 10 2.1.2 Vestibular System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 2.2 Effects of Low-FrequencySound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 15 2.2.1 Hearing Threshold and Loudness Perception at LowFrequencies . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 2.2.2 Low-Intensity Effects of Low-Frequency Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 2.2.3 High-Intensity Effects of Low-Frequency Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 17 2.2.3.1 Effects on Ear andHearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 17 2.2.3.2 Effects on the VestibularSystem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182.2.3.3 Effects on the RespiratoryOrgans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192.2.3.4 OtherEffects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 2.2.4 VibrationConsiderations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . 20 2.2.4.1 Effects of Whole-Body Vibration . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 2.2.4.2 Vibration Due to Low-Frequency Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 2.3Effects of High-Intensity High-Frequency Audio Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 21 2.3.1 Effects on Ear andHearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 21 2.3.2 Non-AuditoryEffects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . 24 2.4 Effects of High-IntensityUltrasound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 27 2.4.1 AuditoryEffects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 2.4.2 Non-AuditoryEffects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . 28 2.5 Impulse-Noise and Blast-WaveEffects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 282.5.1 Auditory Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 2.5.2 Non-AuditoryEffects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . 33 3. Production of Strong Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 3.1 Sources ofLow-Frequency

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