Comfortable and effective head and hearing protection is necessary for Navy personnel working in high noise environments like a carrier flight deck or the well deck of amphibious ships. Creare has recently received funding to further productize its commercially available helmet into an improved flight deck cranial called Triple Hearing Protection (THP). This new safety equipment offers unparalleled hearing protection and industrial standard head protection in a modular system that is compatible with other personal protective and communications equipment.
Existing Helmets Provide Limited Head and Hearing Protection
The three-piece cranial now in use entered service in the 1960s. Although upgrades over the years have improved its effectiveness the technology has reached its limit to prevent hearing loss from exposure to increased noise levels now produced by modern aircraft and amphibious capable platforms. Thanks to recent development efforts at Creare, improved head and hearing protection is soon on its way to the Fleet.
Creare Helmet Improves Safety and Improves Communication
Creare’s THP improves on the existing three-piece cranial by providing greatly increased hearing protection, by providing ANSI Z89 hardhat protection, and by providing communication interfaces to a variety of radios, aircraft intercoms, and other shipboard comm systems. Given the high level of sound attenuation provided by the helmet, Creare is adding a face-to-face communications capability to its THP helmet to enable deck crew to communicate with each other without having to remove their hearing protection. By improving the head protection, by improving the hearing protection, and by improving communications, Creare’s new helmet should improve safety while helping the deck crew maintain their high effectiveness and operational tempo despite the extremely challenging environment.
In the coming months, Creare will work with NAVAIR to bring THP through a Critical Design Review as part of a modified acquisition program. Creare’s team includes OTTO Engineering Inc. (Carpentersville, IL) and Composite Materials Research and Development (Salem, OR).
(US Navy photograph by Erik Hildebrandt)