The large double walled steel room (I.A.C. 1200 series) was modified for free-field listening early in the 1970's. Currently all interior surfaces are covered with two inch acoustic foam wedges (Sonix) and sound field tests indicate low sound reflection characteristics for signals above approximately 700 Hz. The "boom room" acquired its name when, in the mid-seventies, a motorized "boom" was constructed in this chamber. This particular facility allows precise movements of light and sound sources on the horizontal plane. The current boom system has a resolution of .04 degrees and a top speed of approximately 100 degrees/second (serving a full 360 degree arc). All aspects of the laboratory operation are under computer control. Extensive use of digital technology in both the robotics aspects of the facility (the motorized boom system) and in the generation of the audio signals has proven to provide an excellent training experience for our undergraduate and graduate students who are planning to go on to doctoral programs.
Current research: (1) Head-related transfer functions as modified by protective head gear; (2) aurally directed visual search; and (3) basic parameters of auditory and visual motion functions with an emphasis upon issues relevant to concurrent multi-modal operations.
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