The Environment for Auditory Research

Report No. ARL-RP-283
Authors: Paula P. Henry; Bruce E. Amrein; Mark A. Ericson
Date/Pages: December 2009; 18 pages
Abstract: The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, developed the Environment for Auditory Research (EAR) for spatial perception and communication research in various indoor and outdoor environments. The facility consists of the Control Room and five listening spaces: Sphere Room, Dome Room, Distance Hall, Listening Laboratory, and OpenEAR-an outdoor instrumented research space. EAR provides the ideal environment for conducting psychoacoustic studies. These include compliance with the NC-15 noise criteria resulting in background noise levels close to the threshold of hearing, semi-anechoic listening conditions reducing early acoustic reflections to negligible levels, extensive and flexible means for sound production, and acoustic and electroacoustic means for changing the spatial properties of sound. Basic research conducted in EAR increases our understanding of Soldier perception of sound in the modern battlefield. Typical auditory research activities include study of spatial orientation, distance and depth estimation, virtual displays design, acoustic signature detection and identification, auditory icons and warning signals design, perception of moving sound sources, and Soldier performance studies in natural environments. This article first appeared in the July 2009 issue of Acoustics Today, a publication of the Acoustical Society of America.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: December 1, 2009