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Spatially Separate Stereo Image of Airspace Alerts and Traffic Warnings


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TimT
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Verbal traffic alerts indeed work very well. While SD algorithms do a good job in reducing the number of traffic alerts to those that are truly relevant, more often then not the odd traffic warning competes in the headset with

- SD's airspace and obstacle warning
- and radio traffic from one or more monitored frequencies

It would be a great idea to 'pan' the stereo image of the verbal alerts? Typically, the radios come in mono, i.e., dead centre. Readability of parallel messages could be much improved if airspace warnings came slightly, say, from the left, and traffic warning slightly from the right. 

Here is a simulation (curtesy to Garmin) of how spatially separating headset input sources can mirror the way our ears naturally “locate” sound in space —  so the pilot can quickly identify which ones to focus on first.



Edited 6/22/2019 9:30:52 AM by TimT
MarkusM
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The spatially distributed Audio pops up once in a while, but it is not a Holy Grail. I have flown with the technique in fighter jets, but we were thoroughly trained for using it. Private pilots are usually on rather low training level and there are hints the distraction of spatial information within Audio is too much - especially in IMC the often accompanied head movement may outweigh possible benefits.
TimT
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MarkusM - 6/22/2019 11:06:55 AM
The spatially distributed Audio pops up once in a while, but it is not a Holy Grail. I have flown with the technique in fighter jets, but we were thoroughly trained for using it. Private pilots are usually on rather low training level and there are hints the distraction of spatial information within Audio is too much - especially in IMC the often accompanied head movement may outweigh possible benefits.

Your experience as a highly trained fighter jet pilot is well noted. I personally am very impressed with the way this spatially distributed audio allows me to selectively focus on one, or on the other transmission, even if both come in at the same time. 

I personally do not fly IMC, and SD is decidedly positioned for the VFR market. For us, this feature would add a lot of value!

TimT
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I am confident that this suggestion will be considered, as it would greatly enhance the usability of the new verbal airspace and traffic warnings.

The Garmin audio panels that I referred to (which spatially separate two comm radios, and copilot and pax positions) cost some EUR 2500 VAT including, and easily the same amount or more on top for installation and mod approval (if installed in type certifies aircraft - subject to country specific regulations). So there is considerable value in this feature.

By the way, while I mentioned “stereo panning” in my OP, I understand this effect today is generated by phase shifting, making use of “psycho-acoustics”.
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