Date of Award

5-1-2012

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Qin, Jun

Abstract

There is an estimated 10 million Americans that suffer from permanent, irreversible hearing loss from their workplace. Many soldiers come back from battle with this damage, mainly from the high sound levels of their weapons that they are exposed to. The U.S. government spends over $250 million a year in compensation to those whose hearing has been damaged. There are current medicines that have proven to help eliminate or lessen the affects from certain types of noise induced hearing loss, specifically from prolonged expose. A noise exposure system was needed to be built for impulse noise induced hearing loss testing. That would help lead to a medicine for impulse noise induced hearing loss. A system was designed and built to replicate the noise signal of an M-16 rifle. The system's digital noise signal produced was comparable to the recorded M-16 noise signal, which reached a 145 dB level. Testing showed that the relationship between the amplitude and the maximum levels measured were linear. Sound levels of the produced impulse waves had a maximum limit of approximately 160 dB. The system was designed with the idea of customization. There are multiple parameters that can be adjusted to best fit the testing needs. The noise exposure system will be used by researchers in the SIU school of medicine in research designed to test the effect. The results from Dr. the research will validate the effectiveness of the noise exposure system that was built.

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