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Affordable High-Performance Hearing Protection and Communication System

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
2020 Kraft Drive Suite 3030 Blacksburg, VA 24060
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: Yes
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Affordable High-Performance Hearing Protection and Communication System
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8650-09-C-6024
Award Amount: $3,005,130.00


Aegisounds existing Digital Active Noise Reduction (DANR) HPD product configuration, developed under a prior Lockheed Martin JSF SDD program, represents the baseline hearing protector system for this SBIR project. Affordability and performance requirements formed the basis for a Phase I investigation of the DANR HPD. Key areas of Phase I investigation included the product cost, power consumption, and potential for higher levels of noise attenuation in higher ambient noise fields. The Phase I effort identified specific improvements to implement during Phase II, to move the DANR HPD system closer to the target cost and performance metrics established by the solicitation. This subsequent Phase II program is designed to enact a series of critical tasks that target a nearly 35% unit cost reduction and improved manufacturability of the DANR HPD. By applying SBIR resources toward developing lean manufacturing processes for the DANR HPD, optimizing labor efforts, improving and automating processes and test procedures, and revisiting aspects of the existing design for BOM and labor reduction, significant long term unit cost savings are expected, in even low volume production. The military and commercial viability of the DANR HPD product will be dramatically improved by the work of this Phase II program. BENEFITS: There is a dramatic need for improved hearing protection and intelligible communications for aircraft maintainers in all branches of the DOD. This Phase II program will aggressively seek cost reductions that lead to affordable procurements of new digital active noise reduction technologies in military qualified hearing protection and communications products. Increased allowable exposure times for personnel in noise and improved mission effectiveness will be realized by the DANR HPD products at the conclusion of this program. In addition, there will be collateral benefits to the cost and producibility of other custom earmold products (passive and communications earplugs) that are useful in a variety of military occupations. Commercial sales opportunities for industrial noise control will also be enhanced by the expected product cost reductions resulting from this Phase II effort.

Principal Investigator:

Gary Gibbs

Business Contact:

Jeff Hammel
Small Business Information at Submission:

2020 Kraft Drive Suite 3030 Blacksburg, VA 24060

EIN/Tax ID: 412198929
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No