Effects of Head-Supported Devices on Female Aviators During Simulated Helicopter Rides. Part I: Biomechanical Response
ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL
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Researchers at the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory USAARL recently concluded that weight-moment of head-supported devices HSDs worn by male aviators should not exceed 82.8 - 22.9 Newton-centimeters N-cm. The goal of this study was to define a safe range of weights and centers of mass of HSDs that can be tolerated by female helicopter pilots without affecting their health or degrading their performance. Twelve subjects were exposed to whole-body vibration while wearing an HSD with various mass properties. During exposure, biomechanical head acceleration, neck muscle activities, and performance responses were recorded. This paper reports the biomechanical response findings. Head pitch, anterior-posterior, and axial accelerations were measured for 12 different helmet configurations during sinusoidal vertical vibration having a magnitude of 0.45 ms2 and frequencies swept from 2 Hz to 17 Hz at the rate of 0.25 Hzsec. Results indicated that head pitch and axial acceleration levels for female subjects were lower than those for their male counterparts. This may be attributed to differences in seat damping.
- Stress Physiology
- Protective Equipment