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Multichannel Spatial Auditory Display for Speech Communications

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A spatial auditory display for multiple speech communications was developed at NASA-Ames Research Center. Input is spatialized by use of simplified head-related transfer functions, adapted for FIR filtering on Motorola 56001 digital signal processors. Hardware and firmware design implementations are overviewed for the initial prototype developed for the NASA-Kennedy Space Center. An adaptive staircase method was used to determine intelligibility levels of four-letter call signs used by launch personnel at NASA, against diotic speech babble. Spatial positions at 30-degree azimuth increments were evaluated. The results from eight subjects showed a maximal intelligibility improvement of about 6 to 7 dB when the signal was spatialized to 60-degree or 70-degree azimuth positions.

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