Digital Method for Improved Custom Hearing Protection Equipment

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-08-C-0484
Agency Tracking Number: N082-153-0340
Amount: $149,672.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N08-153
Solicitation Number: 2008.2
Small Business Information
2020 Kraft Drive, Suite 3040, Blacksburg, VA, 24060
DUNS: 364131011
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ean Schiller
 Mechanical Engineer
 (540) 951-1284
Business Contact
 William Saunders
Title: President
Phone: (540) 951-1284
Research Institution
Custom fitting hearing protection ear plugs have been shown to provide substantial benefits for personnel working in high noise environments such as around military aircraft and in a range of other war fighter and civilian industrial scenarios. Current manufacturing processes for shaping custom ear plugs require that physical impressions be taken of customers ear canals. Since this involves injecting silicone material directly into the ear, physical impression taking can be uncomfortable for the customer and yield results which will vary with the skill and technique of the practitioner. The focus of this Phase I program is to develop new means, based on Computed Tomography (CT) imaging technology, for capturing ear anatomy information without the need for physical impressions. Eliminating the physical impression will also eliminate the associated discomfort and variability and lead to more satisfied customers getting more reliable hearing protection. This Phase I program will further demonstrate initial feasibility of completing a custom earplug manufacturing process using only digital data, starting from a non-invasive CT scan through production to a finished hearing protector product. A report describing the approach and initial demonstration of the new capabilities will be provided at the conclusion of this work.

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

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