Immersive Auditory Environments
at ORAU Workforce Solutions

Date Posted: 4/23/2019

Opportunity Description

The Army Research Laboratory conducts research on how Soldiers hear sounds in complex auditory environments. In order to best do this research, realistic spatial sound fields must be created that simulate what a Soldier would hear while performing listening and communication tasks in the field. A world-class facility, the environment for auditory research (EAR), contains four indoor loudspeaker arrays and one outdoor array for displaying simulated auditory environments to human listeners. The EAR’s arrays are circular, spherical, linear, and custom-shaped to afford studying different processing capabilities of the human auditory system. The research challenge is two-fold. One engineering challenge is to accurately record and reproduce soundscapes over several different loudspeaker arrangements. The geometry of the recording microphone array and its mapping to a given spatial loudspeaker array needs to be properly transposed to recreate veridical sound fields. A number of spatial partitioning techniques, including beamforing and spherical harmonic decomposition, as well as spatial reproduction techniques, such as wave field synthesis and high-order ambisonics, could be explored. A second perceptual challenge is to modify existing sound sources in a given soundscape or introduce novel sounds into the soundscape and determine when these changes can be detected, identified, and localized. Battlefield acoustics can be realistically simulated, without putting the Soldier in harm’s way, to quantify how well humans process auditory information over a range of sound field complexities. Literature References: Ericson, Mark (2011). Multichannel sound reproduction in the Environment for Auditory Research. 131st Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, NY, NY, # 8513, October 20-23, 2011. Letowski, T. R., Amrein, B. E., and Ericson, Mark A. (2010). Environment for auditory research: Design principles and capabilities. 17th International Congress of sound and vibration, 18-22 July, 2010, Cairo, Egypt. Henry, P., Amrein, B., and Ericson, M. (2009). The Environment for Auditory Research, Acoustics Today, 5, 9-16. Ross, Charles D. (2000). Outdoor sound propagation in the U.S. civil war. Applied Acoustics, 59(2), 137-247. Torija, A. J., Ruiz, D. P., and Ramos-Ridao, Á. (2011). Required stabilization time, short-term variability and impulsiveness of the sound pressure level to characterize the temporal composition of urban soundscapes. Applied Acoustics, Volume 72, Issues 2–3, February 2011, Pages 89-99 Click here for more information

Opportunity Snapshot

About Us

Grooming future leaders in science and technology requires enhancing the skills, knowledge and experience of workers early in their careers. To that end, ORAU (Oak Ridge Associated Universities) assists in connecting the best and most diverse students, recent graduates, faculty and professionals with world-class fellowships, internships and jobs, whether in national laboratories, research institutions, federal government offices or private sector R&D departments.

ORAU works with agencies such as the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Research Associateship Program (RAP) allow Postdoctoral Fellows, Journeyman Fellows (undergraduate and graduates students and recent graduates), Senior Researchers, and Summer Faculty engage in research initiatives of their own choice, that are compatible with the interests of the government and will potentially contribute to the general effort of the ARL. We work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to place recent graduates in full-time and part-time jobs in the Office of Research and Development at EPA under the National Student Services Contract. ORAU also works with Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

Research opportunities include, but are not limited to the following disciplines: Aerospace Engineering, Anthropology, Archeology, Biology, Biochemistry, Biological Engineering, Biomechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Data Science, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Health Risk Assessment, Environmental Science, Entomology, Epidemiology, Ergonomics, Geology, Health Education Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Mathematics, Nanotechnology, Photonics, Physics, Public Health Economics, Public Health Policy, Toxicology, and more.

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