If you live in the southern Alberta city of Medicine Hat and heard a big boom today — don't panic.

"What local residents heard today was a planned explosive trial in support of defence and public security research," said Bobbi Jo Bradley, a spokesperson for the Defence Research and Development Canada branch based at CFB Suffield.

It was a controlled explosion of a tanker at the Suffield Research Centre's Experimental Proving Ground located roughly 40 kilometres from Medicine Hat. 

The military says there is no cause for concern, adding the research is helping to protect the lives of soldiers and emergency responders.

"What was exceptional today was this was one of the largest explosive trials we’ve conducted in recent times," said Bradley.

While the base is located on roughly 470 square kilometres of land, a few factors contributed to the sound carrying into the city limits.

"While we knew noise was a possibility and issued a public notice this morning to ensure both residents and officials were advised, at that time we were not predicting it to be a disruption to the extent it was," said Bradley. 

"Cooler temperatures today and the larger size of today’s trial all were factors in what residents experienced."