Next Generation Passive Hearing Protection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: M67854-13-C-6509
Agency Tracking Number: N123-154-0223
Amount: $80,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: N123-154
Solicitation Number: 2012.3
Small Business Information
Oceanit Center, 828 Fort Street Mall, Suite 600, Honolulu, HI, -
DUNS: 144540283
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Christopher Sullivan
 Senior Scientist
 (808) 531-3017
Business Contact
 Ken Cheung
Title: Science&Technology Mana
Phone: (808) 531-3017
Research Institution
The objective of the proposed effort is to develop and demonstrate a passive hearing protection that affords true sense of presence for normal sound with directionality. Existing hearing protection systems fall short of providing a true sense of situational awareness for the user and are therefore not used in some combat situations by the warfighter. Loss of directionality is a common consequence of wearing passive hearing protection earplugs such as the Combat Arms Earplug as well as hearing-aid type earplugs such as the Etymotic EB15. While both afford a level of protection for the user, both reduce the ability of the user to identify the direction of important audio cues. While the EB15 additionally amplifies low intensity sounds, as hearing aids do, they suffer from the same issues that hearing aid users complain about, including feedback noise, wind noise and amplified white noise. Oceanit proposes a novel earplug hearing protection system that will reduce high intensity noise by up to 30 dB while freely transmitting low intensity noise in a way that will not interfere with the natural means of the user to locate the directions of sounds.

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

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