KIRAS Security Research



In Situ Risk Assessment of the Acoustic Impact of Stun Grenades

Since the early 1960s the development and testing of non-lethal weapons is forced. In the 1990s there has been an increasing interest - mainly in the U.S. - in so-called non-lethal weapons (NLW) which are intended to disable equipment or personnel while avoiding or minimizing permanent and severe damage to humans. These new kinds of weapons gave security forces like the police, prison guards and special military forces new options to handle their work.

Nowadays security forces are forced to use an approach to fulfill the principle of proportionality and to minimize the probability to cause consequential damages. Thus the use of non-lethal weapons helps them to fulfill their command. In order to prevent permanent damages they need a tool for the estimation of the impact of NLW on humans, because there are residual risks using non-lethal weapons so far.

Studies on the impact of non-lethal weapons are nonexistent or not open to the public. Further there is a lack of standardized methods for measuring the impacts of NLW.

Especially the effect on human beings using flash-bang grenades or stun grenades is known only rudimentary. But security forces have to estimate the impact on stun grenades before using them to pursue the principle of proportionality.

Aim of the study is the investigation of the acoustic impact on human beings in free field as well as in rooms using stun grenades. Within the study the basis for a simulation tool shall be investigated to enable the estimation of the acoustic impact on humans in-situ.

Consortium leader:

JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH

Project partner:

Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung und Sport (BMLVS)


DI Dr. Franz Graf

JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH

Telefon: +43 316 876 1631