Protocols for Two Human Performance Tests on Aural Discrimination of Sonar Echos


  1. Allen, N.
  2. Hines, P.C.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Atlantic, Dartmouth NS (CAN)
This report presents detailed experiment plans, or research protocols, for two human listening tests that were carried out as part of a larger project on aural classification of sonar echoes. The purpose of these experiments was to evaluate human ability to aurally distinguish between target echoes and environmental clutter. The data set of echoes that served as stimuli was based on recorded data from a broadband active sonar trial. Both listening tests shared the same basic design. A computer program guided subjects through the different phases of the experiments. These phases included training exercises, a questionnaire to gather qualitative data on their background and ability to aurally discriminate, and rating exercises to gather quantitative data for Receiver-Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis. Subjects had control over the pace of execution of the program, including replay of stimuli. The second experiment used a filtered version of the data set used in the first. Its usefulness was to examine the effect of reduced bandwidth on subjects’ performance and to simulate data from an experiment using a realistic coherent broadband sonar source. The protocols, prepared in accordance with DRDC guidelines on human performance testing, form the substance of this report. Also included is a brief account of the course followed to obtain approval from the DRDC Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) to conduct the tests.

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Report Number
DRDC-ATLANTIC-TM-2006-302 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Mar 2007
Number of Pages

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