Whole body

Whole body

NASA Spacesuit Occupants of Highly Automated Vehicles Under-Body Blast Vulnerable Occupants

NASA Spacesuit

Spacesuits are designed to be durable enough to protect astronauts from the harsh environment of space but also provide mobility so that astronauts can easily function as they would on Earth. In order to determine how astronauts’ bodies would respond to new spacesuit designs and whether these designs would protect their users, researchers from the IBRC conducted tests that simulated impacts similar to what astronauts would experience in space.

Occupants of Highly Automated Vehicles

Highly automated vehicles (HAV) are emerging on the market and with these vehicles comes the possibility of new seating configurations, including forward-facing and rear-facing seats and larger recline angles. Although these vehicles are projected to make the roads safer, it is safe to assume that crashes will still occur as the new fleet of automated vehicles mixes with the current fleet. The IBRC’s researchers are helping to investigate the injury mechanisms and risks in these seating configurations so that vehicle manufacturers can understand how to design these cars to better protect their occupants and finite-element modelers

Under-Body Blast

U.S. troops in theater regularly face the threat of improvised explosive devices. Researchers in the IBRC have worked to simulate under-body blast scenarios in a controlled test environment in order to better understand the mechanisms of injury and the tolerance of the human body to vertical accelerative loading. Data from these studies will be used to better protect our armed forces in combat.

Vulnerable Occupants

Vulnerable occupants are defined as populations who experience increased rates of injury due to body size and composition differences relative to average individuals. Elderly, obese, and pediatric individuals are all examples of vulnerable occupants. These populations will experiences different interactions with the vehicle interior and restraints, which may lead to increases in injury frequency or severity. Current IBRC research focused on elderly occupants is looking to identify injury risks in small, elderly females who experience a side impact collision, which will help to improve vehicle designs to protect this vulnerable population on the road.