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Acoustic direction finding using biologically inspired techniques

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911NF-04-C-0065
Agency Tracking Number: A045-013-0031
Amount: $100,157.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: A04-T013
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2004
Award Year: 2004
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2004-07-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2005-01-31
Small Business Information
4295 Okemos Road, Suite 100
Okemos, MI 48864
United States
DUNS: 874483704
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Gail Erten
 (517) 349-9000
Business Contact
 Gail Erten
Title: President
Phone: (517) 349-9000
Research Institution
 Michigan State University
 Dan Evon
103 Amdin Bldg
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

 (517) 355-5040
 Nonprofit College or University

The ability to determine the direction and characteristics of sounds they hear is one many birds and mammals are endowed with. This biological ability evolved over millions of years, and if one can understand the mechanisms, one expects, we can copy and mimic the capability to some extent in practical applications. Audio cues are also essential for situation awareness for soldiers. Ability to determine where a sound is coming from and respond in a fraction of a second is vital. Our company IC Tech has been engaged in developing biologically inspired technologies and solutions for audio and speech processing since 1997. Based on our previous experience, and given that oftentimes, in a battlefield environment sounds from multiple sources overlap in time and frequency, we see direction finding for soldiers as a two part problem: (1) separating the mixture of sounds into their individual components, and (2) determining the direction of each component. It may be possible to establish coupling between the modules that address these two problems, or solve both problems simultaneously. We are proposing, to combine our signal separation technology and know-how with the expertise of our collaborators to develop dependable acoustic direction finding for soldiers. Our Phase I investigation will involve selecting the best microphone front end, positioning, and arrangement, as well as the optimum algorithms for signal separation classification and switching, and for direction finding. Moreover, we will study the integration of position sensors to link sensor array referenced sound direction with actual physical direction. We will follow this by identification of the most effective rapid and intuitive delivery of the sound source direction information to the soldier. Finally, we will review how individual direction finding systems can be networked.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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