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Proceedings Paper

Acoustic sensors in the helmet detect voice and physiology
Author(s): Michael V. Scanlon
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Paper Abstract

The Army Research Laboratory has developed body-contacting acoustic sensors that detect diverse physiological sounds such as heartbeats and breaths, high quality speech, and activity. These sensors use an acoustic impedance-matching gel contained in a soft, compliant pad to enhance the body borne sounds, yet significantly repel airborne noises due to an acoustic impedance mismatch. The signals from such a sensor can be used as a microphone with embedded physiology, or a dedicated digital signal processor can process packetized data to separate physiological parameters from voice, and log parameter trends for performance surveillance. Acoustic sensors were placed inside soldier helmets to monitor voice, physiology, activity, and situational awareness clues such as bullet shockwaves from sniper activity and explosions. The sensors were also incorporated into firefighter breathing masks, neck and wrist straps, and other protective equipment. Heart rate, breath rate, blood pressure, voice and activity can be derived from these sensors (reports at Having numerous sensors at various locations provides a means for array processing to reduce motion artifacts, calculate pulse transit time for passive blood pressure measurement, and the origin of blunt/penetrating traumas such as ballistic wounding. These types of sensors give us the ability to monitor soldiers and civilian emergency first-responders in demanding environments, and provide vital signs information to assess their health status and how that person is interacting with the environment and mission at hand. The Objective Force Warrior, Scorpion, Land Warrior, Warrior Medic, and other military and civilian programs can potentially benefit from these sensors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 September 2003
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5071, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Defense and Law Enforcement II, (22 September 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.486064
Show Author Affiliations
Michael V. Scanlon, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5071:
Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Defense and Law Enforcement II
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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