DN - Defence Notes

DSEI 2017: Esterline launches new hearing protection

12th September 2017 - 11:09 GMT | by Uldduz Larki in London


Defence and aerospace technology company Esterline has launched its new hearing protection headset for the first time at DSEI 2017.

The headset, which is known as Racal Acoustic Magna, is designed for high-noise environments.

Esterline has engineered its new digital headset to address current operator requirements with solutions in electronics, materials and ergonomics.

Addressing one of the problems in the defence sector, Rob Harrison, product line manager at Esterline, told Shephard: ‘It’s about hearing protection which you are going to be using when you’re working in very noisy conditions. There are health and safety basic requirements to keep the noise below certain levels, otherwise you will be in danger of hearing loss.’

An environment is considered high-noise when it hits 120dB.

‘This is not only well documented in the industrial world but also in the military where they work with very noisy equipment. If you look in the US army, the number of army personnel that retired due to hearing loss is costing the US about $2 billion a year in claims,' he added.

Some of the highlights of the product includes hearing protection in high-noise environments with an autonomous, battery powered digital active noise system.

The Racal Acoustic Magna also allows for the high-fidelity communication, has ergonomic construction and is very modular. The design is also waterproof.

The headset is powered with a battery that lasts up to 70 hours, and when it is powered the user can hear surrounding sounds as it has a built-in microphone on the outside.

‘The problem with regular ear defenders is that it just blocks sounds out and then you won’t be aware of the things that are happening around you like a vehicle or plane coming up behind you because you couldn’t hear it- but now you can with this technology. So, you are fully aware, but fully protected,’ Harrison explained.

Racal Acoustic Magna is a software defined product which allows it to be upgraded. As described by Harrison, the product is ‘future-proof’ as the product is upgradable.

Another aspect that makes the product stand out, according to Harrison, is that it is versatile in its modularity.

‘Normally a headset has a cable attached to it all the time. Instead, we have designed this product with a connector. So, despite whichever cable the customer has, we are able to connect it to the headset,’ Harrison added.

The price per unit was not disclosed. 

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