Tool for noise management

WinLarm is a software suite for noise management at Bundeswehr firing ranges. The suite provides all the tools to maintain the ‘basic data’ necessary for proper noise forecasting and assessment.


WinLarm is used on all military training areas of the German Armed Forces and on the military training area Senne by the armed forces in order to properly implement the noise management of the Federal Ministry of Defence for the shooting noise on these areas, which is regulated by a decree. The noise management is carried out by so-called WinLarm sergeant for each firing day. This ensures that shooting operations are planned with as little noise as possible.

The programme, the scientific basis of noise forecasting, noise assessment and noise management are supervised and continuously developed by the Working Group for Military Shooting Noise (Arge CCIfL). Cervus Consult is a partner of CCIfL.


WinLarm is a word mark of the Federal Republic of Germany. The programme is the property of the Federal Republic and is not available on the market.


High-quality training of the armed forces requires the provision of suitable training facilities. There, the skills to fulfil the mission are acquired through exercises in different operational scenarios for combat. Shooting with the various weapons is an inevitable part of this training.

Military training operations cause noise, vibrations, dust and exhaust fumes. In particular, the noise immissions caused by shooting and blasting can be a nuisance to the population in the vicinity of training areas.

Noise management on the firing ranges of the Bundeswehr aims at avoiding a considerable nuisance to the neighbourhood due to firing noise and, at the same time, at ensuring the militarily required training operations.

This noise management includes the proper prognosis of shooting noise, on the basis of which the aspects of noise control can be incorporated into the operational management of the firing range and into urban land use planning.

Shooting noise

Sonic booms of weapons

Shooting noise differs acoustically and in terms of its disturbance effect considerably from traffic noise and from typical commercial noise. Sonic booms of weapons, which include muzzle blasts, sonic booms of bullets and the explosive booms produced by explosive shells in the target, are high-energy, highly directional sound pulses. With large weapons, these pulses are characterised by low frequencies. Such sonic booms of weapons can be audible even at distances of several kilometres, where they can make significant contributions to noise immission.

Variety of sources

The variety of weapon systems, weapons and ammunition types used by the Bundeswehr and the guest forces exercising in Germany results in a large number of possible shooting noises with different acoustic source energy, directional characteristics and spectral characteristics. Added to this are the sounds of blasts of all kinds.


Impact area

The impact area of shooting noise extends far beyond the boundaries of a shooting range and can cover several hundred square kilometres in the case of military training areas. The assessment procedure, the sound propagation model, the data collection and the map display must be designed for such large areas.

Shooting operations

On a shooting range, a large number of different facilities are kept for shooting and blasting. Only a few of these are used regularly, some only rarely during the year; many shooting exercises take place only by the hour. Moreover, shooting safety precludes the simultaneous use of many facilities from the outset. It is therefore not possible to define a characteristic or “least favourable operating condition” of the shooting range. The assessment of shooting noise must be adapted to this type of use, which is characterised by military aspects.

Forecasting and assessing shooting noise

The special features of shooting noise and the operation of a shooting range take traditional noise management in the one-time application and approval procedure to its limits. A cooperative noise management was developed that takes into account both the motives of immission protection and the requirements of military training and practice operations. Today, this noise management is part of the daily operational management of the Bundeswehr’s military training areas. It obliges the operators to plan each shooting day with a low noise level, but leaves them the necessary flexibility in the use of weapons and the selection of facilities.

Noise management

Cooperative noise management overcomes the rigidity of the specifications laid down in traditional licensing procedures, e.g. the specification of maximum permissible numbers of shots of certain weapons and types of ammunition at each shooting range facility. It dynamically intervenes in the planning of daily shooting operations and thus ensures that the planning criterion of noise is constantly taken into account.

The procedure is cooperative because operators and the responsible public supervisory authorities work closely together. In cooperation, noise pollution is jointly analysed and noise mitigation plans for individual emission situations are agreed upon and implemented.

Noise management is carried out according to the Richtlinie für das Lärm­management auf Schieß­plätzen (i.e. Guideline for Noise Management on Shooting Grounds) issued by the Federal Ministry of Defence.