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Opportunity at Davies Teaching Fellowships (ARL/USMA)

Auditory Situation Awareness in Complex Acoustic Environments


MD and FL-Human Research & Engineering Dir-FFP, Human Research and Engineering Directorate - FFP

RO# Location
AA.27.01.B7309 Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 210055425


Name E-mail Phone
Scharine, Angelique Anne 410.278.5957


ARL is investigating the effects of complex acoustical environments on soldier performance. Acoustic signals are often the first evidence of activity or a presence and it is the only type of information about surrounding environment that is available to the solider regardless of the time of day and from all directions. Detection of acoustic signals and recognition of acoustic signatures, and the directions from which they come are critical because it may mean the difference between life and death. Recently, a suite of research facilities designed explicitly for spatial auditory research has been developed by ARL. This facility, known as the Environment for Auditory Research (EAR), contains facilities for virtual spatial audio, measurement of auditory spatial acuity, perception of moving sounds, and perception of auditory distance in both indoor and outdoor environments. These facilities are unique in their size, versatility, and the acoustical standards they meet. The primary research goal is to describe and predict the effects of auditory features present in urban military operations on soldier auditory awareness and to quantify these effects on performance. Auditory situation awareness is defined as the ability to detect, recognize, and localize sound events. Urban acoustic environments include the effects of reverberation, direct and indirect sound pathways, background and impulse noise, movement, and mutual masking of multiple sound sources including self-made soldier’s sounds. Perception and high level mental processing of these events is also dependent on the soldier’s mission, knowledge of the physical environment, and attentional workload. This research addresses issues not traditionally considered separately in auditory research because the complexities of the military auditory environment demand it. Data obtained from this research form the basis for determining the effects of soldier equipment and spatial situation on auditory performance and feed various models of soldier performance.



Scharine AA, Letowski TR, Sampson JB: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies 11: 1, 2009


Sound localization; Situation awareness; Complex acoustics; Sound recognition; Reverberation; Indirect sound pathways; Spatial perception; Warning; Noise;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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