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LRAD is the De Facto Standard for Long Range Hailing Devices and Here’s Why 

By Mike Shanks, Director of Mass Notifications, Genasys Inc. 

When it comes to acoustic hailing devices (AHDs), one name stands out above the rest: LRAD®. But why is the Long Range Acoustic Device® the go-to solution for critical, audible communication needs worldwide? Here, we take a dive into LRAD’s history, cutting-edge technology, industry dominance, and versatility. 

How LRAD Came to Be 

The genesis of LRAD traces back to a tragic event – the attack on the USS Cole on October 12th in 2000. During this incident, a small boat approached the ship, offering friendly gestures with no radio contact. The crew’s inability to communicate with the small boat meant they could not determine its intent. Unable to communicate, sailors aboard the USS Cole were left with two options, shooting at the boat, or yelling and waving at it.  

Not wanting to escalate the situation, the USS Cole allowed the boat to approach. When it pulled up alongside the ship, its two suicide pilots detonated explosives and took the lives of 17 sailors and injured 40 other crew members. 

This tragic event highlighted the need for long-range communication systems that could establish threat intent and ensure targets not responding to radio calls hear and understand alerts, warnings, and commands. In response, Genasys Inc. (Formerly LRAD Corporation) pioneered a revolutionary AHD solution to this pressing challenge. 

LRAD Technology 

The core of LRAD is advanced acoustic engineering that enables the delivery of crystal-clear recorded or live voice messages over long distances. In essence, LRAD is a technologically advanced, directional sound speaker. However, unlike conventional loudspeakers, LRAD systems utilize controlled broadcast dispersion and industry-leading clarity and intelligibility to ensure that messages are heard and understood over background noise, even amidst chaotic environments. 

How Does it Work? 

LRAD technology operates by emitting highly focused (30°) sound waves within the primary range of human hearing frequencies. This improves acoustic efficiency and ensures voice and alert tone broadcasts are directed only to those in front of the device, while minimizing audio output to the sides and to operators behind the system.  

With this targeted technology, LRADs can communicate to people in solid structures, like a building or a vehicle, and over loud background noise, including crowds and engines.  LRAD systems are unmatched in their ability to broadcast audible voice messages that are clearly heard and understood in any language. 

Designed for Deployment 

LRAD devices are meticulously designed to optimize communication in real-world scenarios. Their compact, rugged construction allows for deployment in diverse environments, from urban settings to remote locations. Built to withstand extreme weather conditions, LRAD systems are the most thoroughly tested AHDs available having passed 40 separate U.S. government tests, including MIL STD testing for heat, humidity and shock.  

With more than 20 years of deployments in thousands of applications around the world, LRAD systems have proven that their ability to communicate clearly, safely and reliably, regardless of the conditions, is unmatched.  

Dominating the Market: 

LRAD’s exceptional technology has been recognized with multiple prestigious awards, including the ASTORS Homeland Security Award, Frost & Sullivan’s Product Innovation Award, and Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School’s Innovation Award.  LRAD has distinguished itself from other AHDs and directional sound speakers, leading to it to be the undisputed industry leader. With sheer superiority and unmatched performance, LRAD is the gold standard for long-range communication systems. 

Innovations and Advancements: 

Genasys continues to push the boundaries in the AHD industry with groundbreaking innovations and enhancements. From versatile accessories like magnetic and vacuum mounts to specialized applications such as air-to-ground communication, LRAD offers unparalleled flexibility and adaptability. the LRAD offers unparalleled flexibility and adaptability.  

The latest addition to the LRAD lineup, the 950NXT model, further raises the bar with easy-to-use controls that enable operators to identify possible threats on a live video feed. When integrated with radar or motion sensors, the 950NXT provides automated security alerts and becomes a fully functional, unmanned perimeter security and first response system that can alleviate the unnecessary use of force, resolve uncertain situations, and save lives. 

Expanding Applications: 

While LRAD technology initially found its footing in defense and maritime domains, its utility has since expanded to diverse sectors such as law enforcement, fire & rescue, border security, and critical infrastructure protection

In conclusion, LRAD has attained its status as the de facto standard for long-range AHDs thanks to its unparalleled technology, versatility, and effectiveness in many applications. As threats evolve and security challenges grow more complex, LRAD remains firmly at the forefront of the worldwide AHD industry, continuing to deliver systems that empower clear, precise communication.