Maintainer Head and Hearing Protection

Period of Performance: 03/06/2006 - 08/10/2009


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Adaptive Technologies, Inc.
2020 Kraft Drive Suite 3040
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Principal Investigator


The U.S. Navy is seeking innovations that lead to lightweight, more comfortable, head protection technologies that are compatible with recent advancements in single and double hearing protection devices used by aircraft engine maintainers. The current USN cranial system, worn by aircraft maintainers on the flight deck, was originally designed in the 1950 s. During the past decades, jet aircraft engine noise levels have risen substantially. One result is that significant numbers of career Navy veterans have to apply for total hearing loss disability after retirement. The exponential increases in yearly VA hearing loss claim amounts indicates that hearing protector attenuation values have not kept up with increases in jet engine sound levels. This Phase II program will begin with a refinement of Phase I designs for improved head protection, with a customer-driven process that will offer advancements in numerous design metrics for the headgear such as: new anthropomorphic data for fit, user studies that define shape and comfort, easy integration of NVD and CBR equipment, improved maintainability and durability, product cost, and strict adherence to total daily exposure noise limits in noise fields up to 150 dB(A) SPL. Prototype systems will be delivered at the conclusion of the Phase II program.