Principles of Fit to Optimize Helmet Sizing
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH HUMAN EFFECTIVENESS DIRECTORATE
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The present research sought to apply underlying principles that determine helmet fit to develop a scientific design method for determining the minimum number of helmet sizes to accommodate the full anthropometric variability of the population. The method was tested on a prototype helmet concept using a stratified sample of males and females drawn to represent the Joint Strike Fighter population. Asian- and African American subjects were specifically included in order to examine the effects of racial anthropometric variability on fit. While the ranges of accommodation for the initial design was broad, it encompassed only a portion of subjects who fell within the 99 probability ellipse, best meeting the fitting needs of a very small subset of the population. Applying a fit mapping method determined that two helmet sized, sized and shaped differently than those initially proposed and with a modified fitting concept, would accommodate 99 of both males and females. The fit mapping process also provided specific, quantified feedback to the designers on size and shape modifications needed to make the helmet to provide better fit for the full range of the population. Determining the parameters that link anthropometric principles to fit of a specific piece of equipment permit design modifications to equipment to be made early in the design process using only a single size prototype, resulting in fewer sizes while ensuring accommodation of the desired population.
- Protective Equipment
- Military Forces and Organizations