Research was conducted involving a series of lateral impact tests on a horizontal sled facility by scientists at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The purpose of the research was to conduct an assessment of the biodynamic response of an anthropomorphic test device (ATD) to support the development of AFRL neck injury criteria. Impacts were completed using a 50th male Hybrid III aerospace ATD due to this ATD being used by the USAF to qualify and evaluate ejection systems. A test matrix was developed to assess ATD response as a function of various seat configurations which were an approximation of the seat configurations used by the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) for previously conducted lateral impact tests of PMHS subjects (post-mortem human subjects). The specially fabricated seat configurations were a rigid seat fixture with a 5-point harness and a padded rigid seat with a 3-point harness. The input acceleration pulses were trapezoidal in shape and varied in peak magnitude from 8.5 to 17 G. The rigid and padded seat configurations both generated fairly linear ATD responses across the input acceleration range. The ATD’s response with the padded seat and the 3-point restraint was greater than the ATD’s response with the rigid seat and the 5-point restraint with the upper neck. The My
torque showed the greatest increase from the rigid seat configuration to the padded seat configuration. This highlights the importance of a proper restraint and the importance of controlling the motion of the torso since it could reduce the loads and torques of the unrestrained head and neck, resulting in a lower probability of injury. The lateral impact program with the ATD provided critical impact data to fill data gaps that support the development of the ATD-to-human transfer functions for AFRL’s Multi-Axial Neck Injury Criteria (MANIC) for lateral impact or MANICy calculation. The program also highlighted gaps in human and PMHS head response data in identical lateral impact configurations that would not only improve the current MANICy transfer function but would allow the investigation of the efficacy of using the 6F-MANICy to replace the current MANICy.
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