Affordable High-Performance Hearing Protection/Communication System

Period of Performance: 04/29/2008 - 02/28/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aegisound, LLC
2020 Kraft Drive Suite 3030
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Principal Investigator


The development of affordable, high performance hearing protection and communication systems is critical for USAF and DOD aircraft maintainers who must work in the vicinity of jet exhaust noise during launch and recovery operations. Aegisound is in a unique position to leverage recently completed first-generation ANR hearing protector designs, intended for operation in JSF noise fields, to investigate further design improvements for affordability and even higher performance. This Phase I proposal addresses a range of performance issues for the use of ANR earplugs in harsh noise environments. Earplug design, controller design, and actuator design all play vital roles in high noise attenuation. Speech intelligibility and resistance to electromagnetic interference are also included as critical system requirements. All of these components and design criteria will be evaluated for performance versus their respective roles toward affordability. During the Phase I program, all relevant design and production issues will be identified and summarized with respect to affordable procurement of hearing protection systems that are useful in 150 dB noise environments. A detailed analysis of design metrics, production alternatives, cost drivers, and a plan for deployment of the proposed solutions will be provided at the conclusion of this work.