The complete digital audio system
Originally developed to meet the demanding specifications of military flight simulators AlphaWave™ today is an all-purpose high performance, cost-effective digital audio system. We have incorporated the latest digital signal processing hardware, algorithms and software techniques to provide the highest levels of functionality, fidelity, flexibility and ease of use at the lowest cost.
Realistic Modeling of Aural Environment
Aaural environment. This innovative AlphaWave™ achieves a high degree of realism by employing a unified, physical process oriented approach to simulate the approach incorporates the latest speech synthesis and data-compression techniques in order to synthesize the stochastic and deterministic components of aural cues in a consistent manner. The common approach to simulating aural cues involves applying a collection of ad-hoc signal generation techniques in an attempt to replicate the individual audio signal components. In contrast, the AlphaWave™ system uses signal-generation techniques that parallel the physical processes underlying the generation of audio signals in the real world. By focusing on the cause rather than the effect, AlphaWave™ provides a more robust aural simulation that maintains a high degree of realism as ambient conditions vary.
Flexible Modeling Capability
The AlphaWave™ modeling tool allows the developer to graphically construct a block diagram of the complete audio system and quickly test the newly defined configuration. A more complete description of this tool is provided in the Development Environment description.
Extensible Software and Hardware Architectures
AlphaWave™ supports the construction of audio systems to suit the most demanding applications by allowing audio signal generation, signal processing, and I/O functions to be allocated among multiple hardware
Scalable Software Architecture
AlphaWave™ allows low cost DSP cards to be utilized in cost sensitive applications by loading only the signal processing software components required to implement the particular audio system design. The complete menu of signal processing functions is available for incorporating into the design regardless of the target DSP card.
AlphaWave™meets all common simulation audio requirements, including realistic simulation of aural environments, emulation of audio functions, and training system intercom.
The functional blocks provided by AlphaWave™ may be assembled to accurately simulate any conceivable audio source and are limited only by the selected signal processing hardware. For example, the system has been frequently utilized to produce combinations of the following types of sounds:
1. Aircraft engine noises/aural cues
2. Slipstream turbulence
3. Blast sounds
4. Vehicle sounds
AlphaWave™ provides several voice communications options for implementing training device intercom systems and simulated radio communications. All voice signals can be transmitted digitally over a computer network using any of several standard encoding/compression schemes. Alternately, the voice signals may be transmitted via direct analog interconnections between the analog I/O ports provided with the system. To simulate real world radio communications, the general-purpose signal processing functions provided by the system can be utilized to inject noise and produce realistic propagation and loss effects associated with radio transmissions.
AlphaWave™ is available as a stand-alone system or as a tightly integrated hardware/ software expansion of the host computer. The integrated version yields the best performance at the lowest cost. The stand-alone configuration is offered primarily for existing systems that are processor limited. With both configurations, external amplifiers are provided for driving speakers and commercial or military headsets.
In the stand-alone configuration AlphaWave™ may be operated independently or controlled by the host computer through any of several standard data links such as RS-232.
• Ideal for systems with limited processors
• Can be operated independently of host computer
• Can be operated by the host computer through standard data link
In this configuration, AlphaWave™ consists of one or more audio signal processing cards, plus an Application Programming Interface (API). The API allows the host to communicate directly with the audio processing cards over the local data bus.
The increased level of integration and reduction in overall system complexity that results from building sound capability directly into host computer system translates into several advantages over traditional stand-alone systems.
• Initial and life cycle costs are reduced considerably by taking maximum advantage of host computer resources
• Reliability is increased and maintenance and spares requirements are reduced by eliminating redundant hardware and software
• Host communication performance and reliability are improved
• Software configuration control and maintenance is simplified since all software and data required to operate the sound system resides on the host computer system
• Monitoring and controlling the sound system is simplified since all related variables can be accessed directly by the instructor station
Alpha Systems offers a graphical development environment allowing the user to build and tune the sound system model in real time. Block diagram editing capability allows the user to define the audio signal-processing model by "drawing" a signal processing block diagram. The development toolkit allows the developer to select the basic signal processing and I/O functional blocks from a menu and place them on a computer "worksheet." The blocks may then be interconnected to achieve the desired signal routing topology. System performance indicators are also displayed to provide developers with an architecture simulation upon which they can base their design decisions. Macro capability is provided to allow higher level signal processing blocks, such as composite engine sound, to be conveniently defined and duplicated. Alpha Systems Engineering Corporation also maintains a sound sources library to reduce the need for actual system recordings during development.
If multiple DSPs are required, partitioning of the design between DSPs can be defined independently of the audio signal-processing model. The appropriate mechanism for transferring data between the DSPs is automatically configured by the system and is transparent to the user. Fractional use for each DSP is displayed to aid in partitioning, or load leveling and determining the need for additional resources.
Alpha Systems Engineering Corporation offers complete support during all phases of development, including:
• Acquisition and processing of audio data
• Model development
• Host integration
Any hardware component that fails within 3 years of purchase will be replaced free of charge.
Support for other hardware platforms and operating systems can also be provided on a time and materials basis.
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