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A new application of Widrow's adaptive noise cancellation (ANC) is presented in this paper. Specifically, the method is applied to the case where an acoustic barrier exists between the primary and reference microphones. By updating the coefficients of the noise estimation filter only during silence, it is shown that ANC can provide substantial noise reduction with little speech distortion even when the acoustic barrier provides only moderate attenuation of acoustic signals. The use of the modified ANC method is evaluated using an oxygen facemask worn by fighter aircraft pilots. Experiments demonstrate that if a noise field is created using a single source, 11 dB signal-to-noise ratio improvements can be achieved by attaching a reference microphone to the exterior of the facemask. The length of the ANC filter required for this particular environment is only 50 points.