An Investigation of Three Extremity Armor Systems: Determination of Physiological, Biomechanical, and Physical Performance Effects and Quantification of Body Area Coverage
Final rept. Feb 2007-May 2008
ARMY NATICK SOLDIER RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING CENTER MA
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This report documents an evaluation of three personal protective systems designed to be worn with armor vests for the ballistic protection of the arms and legs. The systems were similar in weight 6 kg, but differed in the extent of the body surface area they covered. Eleven Army enlisted men participated in the assessment of the relative effects of the extremity armor and of an armor vest worn alone on physiological, biomechanical, and maximal performance measures. It was found that times to complete 30-m rushes and an obstacle course run were fastest with the armor vest alone and slowest when the extremity armor with the greatest body area coverage was used. Rate of oxygen uptake, a measure of energy consumption, was recorded during treadmill walking and running and scaled to body mass for analysis. These data yielded lower energy consumption with the armor vest alone than with the extremity armor. Gait kinematics and kinetics were also recorded during the walking and running, and spatio-temporal gait variables and ground reaction force variables were computed. Analyses of these data revealed differences between the armor vest worn alone and with the extremity armor systems, but there were few differences among the extremity armor systems. Of the three systems, 10 of the 11 study participants preferred to wear the system with the least body area coverage.
- Protective Equipment