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Fabrication and Testing of a Blast Concussion Burst Sensor

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Annual rept. 1 Jun 2008-31 May 2009

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In this project, we seek to design passive, wearable sensors for military personnel that will provide an indication of the severity of exposure to explosive blasts in an easily decipherable manner immediately after the fact. This will allow soldiers who may have traumatic brain injury or other injury that is not immediately apparent to seek medical attention, and also provide some basic information about the blast to medical personnel treating such soldiers. We are developing burst membrane sensors, in which the incident shock wave from a nearby explosion imparts high pressure levels on precisely machined membranes sealing reservoirs containing indicators such as various colors of dye. Each membrane will rupture when exposed to pressure above a different threshold, so that the color of the dye released by the device becomes an indication of the severity of the blast. The scope of the research involves fabricating and testing such sensors to achieve a design that provides consistent, repeatable performance at appropriate pressure thresholds, and considering secondary issues in packaging, protecting, and mounting such devices. The project plan is divided into 6 tasks grouped into three phases I Materials Characterization, II Membrane Design, and III Sensor Testing. During the first 12 months of this project, work was carried out on all three phases, including tasks 1 through 5 of the six tasks listed in the statement of work. The majority of the effort has been in tasks 4 and 5, which together form an iterative process of fabrication, testing, and redesign of burst membrane prototypes. A detailed description of the work carried out to date on each task, and the associated research findings, are included in this report.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Weapons Effects (Biological)
  • Explosions
  • Fluid Mechanics

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