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Center Innovation Fund: JSC CIF

Pitch Synchronous Segmentation of Speech Signals

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Pitch Synchronous Segmentation of Speech Signals

The Pitch Synchronous Segmentation (PSS) that accelerates speech without changing its fundamental frequency method could be applied and evaluated for use at NASA. There are many situations where crew or ground controllers must listen to concurrent speakers. Application of this method could improve speech comprehension and reduce workload in these situations.

Crewmembers and ground controllers often have to monitor multiple channels of speech communication during missions (multiple ground channels, onboard channels, and live speech), which can be difficult. Crew have reported that they often have to manually turn down some channels that are lower priority in order to focus on the channels of communication that they perceive to be more relevant at any point in time. We know that speech recognition is reduced when listening to concurrent speech. The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory developed a method called pitch synchronous segmentation (PSS) that accelerates speech without changing its fundamental frequency. Thus, within the same time frame, speech segments can be modified to be listened to in sequence instead of concurrently. Research shows that serial speech accelerated 50% to 65% of the speed of the original speech leads to better speech comprehension than concurrent speech at normal speed. Two key application areas were identified: Immediate accelerated playback of ground control communication with crew (to confirm dialog that was missed) Accelerated playback of recordings for troubleshooting anomalies Use of PSS for live, concurrent speech requires further research to determine the cost and benefits.

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.

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