Advanced Audio Technologies for Extreme Hearing Protection

Period of Performance: 07/18/2006 - 08/29/2008

$999K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Abstract

High noise environments increase the difficulty of face-to-face communications, with or without the use of hearing protection. Further, understanding the acoustic cues that are available in the environment for maintaining situational awareness becomes increasingly difficult as background noise levels increase. It is imperative to provide high-performing hearing protection devices for use in these high levels of noise. Therefore, methods are needed such that face-to-face communications and situational awareness can be restored to the user without causing further increases in the sound power reaching the outer ear. Combined autonomous level control for localization/talk-through and acoustic noise dosimetry provide the maximum amount of safe exposure coupled with situational awareness that can be offered. This Phase II effort will provide each of the advanced technologies on a variety of protector platforms including single hearing protection and double hearing protection, circumaural earcups and custom earplugs. These combined technologies will also provide the critical data for establishing a well structured hearing conservation program within the US Navy. A number of complimentary programs currently underway at ATI will benefit and enhance the parallel efforts anticipated by this Phase II proposal, including flight deck hearing protector development and flight deck head protector design and development.