Infantry: Defeating Noise


6, 2007:
On modern battlefields, a major problem is noise. All the gunfire,
equipment sounds and explosions makes it difficult for the troops to
communicate. Sure, there are hand signals, but it means you have to look at the
guy, and use one of your hands. Radios for each soldier have become common in
the past few years, but there's still the noise problem. Noting the growing
capabilities of noise cancellation systems, several former American special
operations guys got together, and founded a company (Silynx) to produce a
solution especially designed to deal with the needs of the combat trooper. Out
of that came QuietOps, an in-the-ear (like iPod ear buds) noise cancellation
system that plugs into military communications systems. The noise-cancellation
hardware and software are state-of-the art, and the user can quickly switch
modes via a wireless controller that attaches to the rail that comes on most
assault rifles there days. That way, the user never has to take their hand away
from their weapon. The system can be set to just suppress sudden loud noises,
or all loud noise, while letting quieter sounds through. QuietOps is pitched
mainly to special operations troops, but individual troops willing to spend
over five hundred bucks for some battlefield ear protection. Anyway, that's the
plan. So far, Silynx has not shipped the product. But something like QuietOps
is feasible, given current technology. Either they, or someone else, will get
this sort of thing into the hands of the troops. The device also has civilian
uses, as in noisy construction sites, manufacturing facilities, the flight
line, and so on.




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