Portable System for Auditory Situational Awareness Assessment and Training
Navy SBIR FY2018.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-084
Topic Title: Portable System for Auditory Situational Awareness Assessment and Training
Proposal No.: N181-084-0174
Firm: Creare LLC
16 Great Hollow Road
Hanover, New Hampshire 3755
Contact: Jed Wilbur
Phone: (603) 643-3800
Web Site: http://www.creare.com
Abstract: Modern hearing protection devices (HPDs) often include electronic â?ohear-throughâ?? technology that helps to preserve or enhance the userâ?Ts auditory situational awareness (ASA). Restoration of ASA has removed one of the largest barriers to HPD adoption. However, because HPDs alter the shape of the ear or ear canal, they distort the acoustic cues used by the brain to localize the source of a sound. Thus, there is a need to both measure the effect HPDs have on sound localization and to train HPD users to localize sounds while wearing their HPDs. However, current sound localization systems are essentially fixed installations that are expensive to set up and difficult use. A new, portable, and inexpensive measurement-training system is needed. Creare proposes to develop an Auditory Situational Awareness Station (ASA Station) that combines innovative sound projection technologies and user interfaces to maximize training effectiveness and efficiency in a lightweight, easy-to-use, and portable package. In the Phase I Base we will demonstrate the core ASA Station innovations in a proof-of-concept system. In Phase II, we will develop a complete prototype solution covering the full range operational specifications.
Benefits: The ASA training-measurement system developed on this effort will greatly expand the availability, accessibility, effectiveness, and efficiency of ASA training and performance measurement. This will improve soldier and, in commercial applications, worker situational awareness while also speeding the adoption rates of modern hearing protection devices. This will enhance the mobility, survivability, and lethality of warfighters as well as the safety and hearing status of industrial workers.