The Biomechanics Test Facility
This 5,000-square-foot testing and evaluation laboratory is dedicated to a range of biomechanical research areas. The focus is on the determination of the human body's injury mechanisms and tolerances under hazardous conditions. This facility houses a VIA Systems deceleration crash sled, high-rate Instron material test system, impact pendulum, pneumatic cannon, and portable drop tower. Tests are performed on anthropomorphic test dummies or biological specimens as necessary to support the needs of our sponsors. We perform crash sled tests for a number of government and commercial customers.
The Via Systems Deceleration Crash Sled System
The Sled System features speeds up to 50 mph with a 2,000-pound maximum payload. The system features a pneumatically controlled impact speed; a hydraulically controlled deceleration pulse with 4-foot maximum stroke; flexible pulse tuning to accommodate a wide range of pulse shapes; a 128-channel DTS TDAS-Pro onboard data acquisition system; Phantom high-speed, onboard digital video cameras; and rear, front, side, vertical, or oblique impact directions.
High-Rate Servohydraulic Instron Material Test System
Using this system, we can obtain material characterization and determination of failure limits for advanced engineering and other materials, as well as testing over a wide range of loading rates. The system features servohydraulic controls, a 15-inch stroke actuator with 10 m/s maximum actuator speed (open loop) and 3 m/s maximum actuator speed (full control), and displacement and load control.
The cable-guided impact pendulum allows testing on anthropomorphic dummies and other materials. It has an adjustable internal weight system maximum of 100 pounds. The pendulum features 10 m/s maximum impact speed, an onboard data-acquisition system, high-speed digital video cameras, and extensive sensors and instrumentation.
Ballistic Testing with the Human Surrogate Torso Model
The Biomechanics Test Facility can also perform ballistic testing with the Human Surrogate Torso Model (HSTM). This model is an anatomically correct physical model of the fifth percentile human thorax including skeletal structure, organs, and soft tissues with biosimulant materials that are characterized at high strain rates. It also has embedded pressure sensors and accelerometers and can be response-evaluated during nonpenetrating blast and ballistic impacts.
The Test Facility's pneumatic cannon can be operated remotely and accommodates nonlethal munitions of various shapes and sizes. It has the capability to accommodate variable projectile velocity (maximum = 400 feet per second), laser targeting, and evaluation of HSTM operation during ballistic impact events.
Anthropomorphic Test Dummies
Our family of anthropomorphic test dummies allows us to perform crash and impact testing to evaluate vehicle design, restraint system effectiveness, and dummy biofidelity as well as crash testing related to automotive, aviation, railroad, and boat safety. The family of test dummies is made up of Hybrid III dummies and a BioRID II Rear Impact dummy and is equipped with a wide assortment of accelerometers, load cells, and other instrumentation.