The Long-Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) is an acoustic hailing device, sound cannon and sonic weapon developed by Genasys. Law enforcement organizations and the manufacturer claim that LRAD systems are primarily designed for long-range communications; however, the device has an extremely high decibel capacity and is controversially used as a less-lethal weapon for crowd control. The Academy of Doctors of Audiology states that ‘Individuals exposed to weaponized LRAD use at the 2009 G20 Summit experienced mild traumatic brain injuries, permanent hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), eardrum perforation (holes), ear pain, dizziness, and disorientation.’
According to the manufacturer’s specifications, the systems weigh from 15 to 320 pounds (6.8 to 145.1 kg) and can emit sound in a 30–60° beam at 2.5 kHz. The manufacturer also produces systems for public address and mass notification use that broadcast 360°.
LRAD systems are used by law enforcement, government and defense agencies, as well as maritime and commercial security companies to broadcast audible notifications and warnings over distance. LRAD systems are also used to deter wildlife from airport runways, wind and solar farms, nuclear power facilities, gas and oil platforms, mining and agricultural operations, and industrial plants.