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Potential Impact of USAF Atmospheric Interceptor Technology (ait) Launches from the Kodiak Launch Complex, Kodiak Island, Alaska. Monitoring of Noise Levels During the Launch of ait-2

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Final technical rept.

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The U.S. Air Force USAF atmospheric interceptor technology ait program must conduct protected species monitoring during periods immediately before and after ait rocket launches from the Kodiak Launch Complex. Monitoring and mitigation efforts for two protected species, the endangered Steller sea lion Eumetopias jubatus and the threatened Stellers eider Polysticta stelleri, are a condition of the FONSI for the program and were conducted by the University of Alaskas Environment and Natural Resources Institute ENRI in the days before and after the ait-2 launch. The study reported herein was conducted from 12-15 September, 1999, before, during, and immediately after the ait-2 launch on 15 September. It ran in parallel with the ENRI effort and was designed to provide the USAF with detailed information about the acoustic characteristics of the ait-2 launch, in part for future prediction of animal impacts and in part for comparison with RNOISE model outputs. Opportunistic observations of animal behaviors were obtained during this effort as well. Larson-Davis sound monitors LD 820, 824 were deployed to collect noise data automatically at four sites within the Safety Exclusion Zone SEZ for the launch, including two sites on Narrow Cape, the portion of Kodiak Island extending closest to Ugak Spit. A fifth monitor on Ugak Spit failed. A real-time DAT recording was collected just outside the SEZ, close to the Launch Control Complex LCC. HSWRI and AFSMC cooperators were able to count and observe the behavior of marine mammals on 912 from Narrow Cape using a Meade ETX-9OEC Telescope Lang 2000. They also collected behavioral observations during helicopter approaches and landings on Ugak Island 914 2000-2130 hours and 915 1330-1350 hours. Sea lions were observed at Ugak Spit after the launch from 1345 to 1500 hours on 915 using the Meade telescope. There were no Stellers eiders in the area at the time of the launch. 6 tables, 12 figures, 20 refs. 7

Subject Categories:

  • Surface-Launched Guided Missiles
  • Rocket Engines
  • Noise Pollution and Control

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