Universal In-Ear Warfighter Monitoring System (1001-956)
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-012
Topic Title: Universal In-Ear Warfighter Monitoring System (1001-956)
Proposal No.: N131-012-0101
CHELMSFORD, Massachusetts 01824
Contact: Tyson Lawrence
Phone: (978) 250-4200
Web Site: www.tritonsys.com
Abstract: Job related hearing loss is a growing issue within active and retired military personnel. Ear protection is critical to prevent such injury, but personnel in variable pressure environments, such as pilots, often cannot use the best hearing protection due to pressure changes risking barotrauma. Current physiological monitoring systems can measure in-ear pressure levels, but require customized ear pieces. The proposed solution will use recent developments in pressure sensing and small, wireless near field communication electronics to provide a simple, universal system that can be used to measure the in-ear pressure of any subject wearing any earplug. The Triton In-Ear Warfighter Monitoring System will measure in-ear pressure levels of subjects wearing their own personal hearing protection in simulated pressure scenarios, ensuring that personnel are not exposed to a dangerous level of pressure while affording them the best hearing protection possible.
Benefits: Barotrauma is a serious risk for personnel working in extreme pressure environments. In order to safely equalize pressure between the ear and the environment, pilots are only allowed to use vented earplugs. However, due to the variable nature of the human ear canal, it is difficult to define a safe vented earplug in rapidly changing pressure environments. Additionally, vented earplugs do not afford the same noise attenuation as other, solid earplugs. A wireless in-ear pressure monitoring system can measure pressure levels of a user's own personal hearing protection in simulated pressure scenarios, ensuring safe pressure equalization. Triton's system will not require the purchase of any specialized ear pieces, and will improve the safety of working conditions. Commercial pilots and divers will also benefit from a universal in-ear pressure monitoring system. The Triton In-Ear Warfighter Monitoring System can be used as a platform to incorporate many other sensors, such as blood rate, stress, and noise attenuation for military and commercial physiological monitoring applications. Triton will continue to work with its manufacturing partners after successful deployment to the military to expand its universal in-ear physiological monitoring system to the commercial marketplace.