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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
pilot-byom
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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”.
TimT
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Spatial separation, or 3D audio, whatever you'd like to call it, seems to be becoming a feature de rigueur in any new cockpit intercoms. 

See here for Becker Avionics; or here for PS Engineering. It would be nice seeing SD leading the way here for voice-enhanced moving map / navigation apps.

PaulSS
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That is very effective and would be very effective if it could be incorporated into SD audio.

Then again I, too, used to fly fighters so maybe it's only we super beings who can appreciate the technology (where's the rolling eyes emoji I want?)



Tim Dawson
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I'm intrigued by this but not sure the platforms we use make it straightforward to do so. I spent some time looking at Android documentation and there appears to be no way to control the audio channels that speech output goes to. On iOS you can do it, but as an all-or-nothing thing, i.e. we could have both channels or left only for example.

Beyond that and we're looking at a much more expensive feature, to synthesize the audio to disk or memory and adjust the balance ourselves.

Massimo Belloni
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... by the way: many radio (especially those which integrate a dual channel intercom) does have an external audio input (where it's easy to connect the audio output from SD device), but it is almost always mono, so in that case the spatial separation (even if feasible) effect would be vanished by the radio circuitry itself 

Massimo Belloni

TimT
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Massimo Belloni - 11/25/2019 5:42:09 PM
... by the way: many radio (especially those which integrate a dual channel intercom) does have an external audio input (where it's easy to connect the audio output from SD device), but it is almost always mono, so in that case the spatial separation (even if feasible) effect would be vanished by the radio circuitry itself 

There is a generic way to connect ("pair") a stereo tablet computer (such as an iPad) with a Bluetooth-enabled stereo headset (such as the Bose A20). You can then listen to stereo sound from your iPad on your ANR headset. This can be your favourite music. Or your favourite navigation app.

You would not have to feed the SD audio signal via your intercom.

GO

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