Noise and Vibration Monitoring Study

Please be advised that the MOD has published the final report resulting from the recent, independent noise and vibration study conducted by Southdowns Environmental Consultants.

You can view the Pendine report here:

If you have any questions about the report, please email us at pendineinfo@qinetiq.com


Update: July 2015: The six-month period of noise & vibration monitoring at Pendine Range and the surrounding communities is now complete and the study monitors have been removed by Southdowns Environmental Consultants Ltd.

QinetiQ and the MOD, would like to thank those residents who participated in the study in the communities near Pendine Range, which has allowed a comprehensive data set to be collected. As a totally independent Study, neither QinetiQ nor the MOD has access to the data and Southdowns will now be entering a period of data collation, analysis and report preparation. The Study forms part of a larger MOD sponsored project, anticipated to finish in Spring 2016. The findings will be published as soon as is reasonably practicable after the end of the study.

Southdowns Environmental Consultants Ltd has been appointed to undertake a Noise and Vibration Monitoring Study in some of the communities around the MOD Pendine.

QinetiQ Ltd, which operates the Range at Pendine on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has, at the request of the MOD, commissioned this independent Study to determine the possible effects of noise and vibration which may result from the test, evaluation and training support activities which are carried out on the Range.

Southdowns is an independent firm of noise and vibration consultants, established in January 1996. As a corporate member of the Association of Noise Consultants, their subject matter experts are affiliated with professional Institutes including the Institute of Acoustics and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

The Study will monitor noise and vibration at multiple locations of interest in the vicinity of the Range. Following a desk top study and site suitability surveys, several locations on the Carmarthen Bay coastline and inland have been identified to host a monitoring system.

The monitoring will be conducted over a six-month period, commencing in the Summer of 2014. For more information about this study, see our frequently asked questions below. [Update July 2015: The monitoring commenced later than anticipated due to the complex technical requirements associated with fitting the monitoring equipment. The monitoring at Pendine commenced in November 2014 and concluded in May 2015.]

More information about Southdowns Environmental Consultants can be found on the company website at www.southdowns.eu.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is this Study being carried out?
    There is a public perception that some activities at the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Pendine (the Range) produce noise and vibration that may be damaging to property. The Study is being carried out to address concerns raised by communities surrounding the Range.
  • Why has the Study taken so long to get underway?
    As a Defence contractor, QinetiQ has to abide by Government contracting policies that ensure value for money for the taxpayer when inviting bids and placing a contract.
  • Who has arranged this Study and who is paying for it?
    QinetiQ, as operator and manager of the site, has contracted with Southdowns but the Study itself is being paid for by the MOD.
  • What is the Study measuring?
    The Study will measure what, if any, effect noise and vibration emanating from the Range has on property and whether this has the potential to cause damage.
  • When will the Study start?
    The Study is scheduled to start in this Summer (2014). [Update July 2015: The monitoring commenced later than anticipated due to the complex technical requirements associated with fitting the monitoring equipment. The monitoring at Pendine commenced in November 2014 and concluded in May 2015.]
  • How long will the Study last?
    The Study will last for approximately six months, to cover a representative selection of the work undertaken on the Range, across a representative selection of meteorological (and therefore acoustic) conditions.
  • What part do the monitors play in the Study?
    The monitors are dedicated computers that, together with the sensors mounted nearby and connected to the computer, measure the noise and vibration at a location. The monitors will record noise and vibration data (see below) and transmit this data back to Southdowns for further analysis.
  • Will the monitors be switched on all the time?
    Yes. The monitors require a continuous 240v power supply and will remain switched on at all times during the study.
  • Will the monitors be able to record my conversations?
    The monitors will be configured to continuously collect numerical noise level and vibration data. However, in the event of a central trigger signal being generated by activity on the Range, the monitors will also capture the measured sound and vibration waveforms for a short duration (up to approximately 10 seconds). This information is needed to allow further technical analysis after the Range event has finished. If the waveforms contain any extraneous contribution as a result of domestic activity in the vicinity of microphone they will automatically be discarded from further consideration in any case.
  • When will the findings of the Study be made available to the public?
    Following the Study, there will be a period of data analysis. It is too early to say how long this will take, but the findings will be made available as soon as practicably possible after the end of the Study.
  • What will happen if the Study proves that the noise and vibration is damaging property?
    The MOD, as owner of the site, will be responsible for any subsequent action if the Study concludes that damage is being caused to property as a result of Range activity.
Noise and Vibration Monitoring Study