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The HCE plans to launch an integrated campaign focused on empowering military personnel and veterans to better understand, care for and protect their hearing.
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US Army Research Lab (ARL), Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED)

Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

ARL Website


The Army Research Laboratory provides the U.S. Army underpinnings of science, technology and analysis that enable full-spectrum operations. The mission of the Army Research Laboratory’s Human Research and Engineering Directorate (ARL-HRED), Perceptual Science Branch, is to improve the sensory, perceptual, physical, and cognitive performance of soldiers, soldier teams, and soldier systems. The objective of ARL-HRED’s auditory research program is to provide the soldier with optimal auditory situation awareness and speech communication capabilities while being protected from unsafe levels of noise.

Current Research Areas:

Current research areas include: auditory localization, with an emphasis on the effects of personal protective equipment on spatial orientation and modeling of these effects; the effects of compression and gain on spatial perception and distance estimation; non-traditional communication, including bone conduction; and weapons and sound identification and, inversely, the reduction of signature identification. Research is mainly focused on the modeling of human hearing and on determining the operational norms for auditory perception, the mediational impact of head gear and operation on auditory perception, and the influence of multi-tasking on human performance and multi-sensory perception.

ARL-HRED’s Key Research Facilities:

  • Environment for Auditory Research (EAR)
  • Cognitive Assessment, Simulation, and Engineering Laboratory (CASEL)
  • Tactical Environment Simulation Facility (TESF)
  • Instrumented Shooter Performance Range (M-Range)
  • Instrumented NATO-class Mobility-portability Obstacle Course (KD-Range)
  • Head-related Transfer Function (HRTF) Measurement Facility

Potential Joint Research Areas:

Potential research areas include: determination of common descriptors of localization error and spatial perception testing methodology; determination of common metrics of speech intelligibility and speech recognition testing (including those related to fitness-for-duty determinations); identification of a common set of military-relevant test parameters for hearing-related devices (including tactical hearing protection devices); and standardization of testing methodologies.

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