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Ejection Injury to the Spine in Small Aviators: Sled Tests of Manikins vs. Post Mortem Specimens

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Salzar RS, Bolton JR, Crandall JR, Paskoff GR, Shender BS. Ejection injury to the spine in small aviators: sled tests of manikins vs. post mortem specimens. Aviat Space Environ Med 2009; 80:621–8.

Introduction: This study presents the results of seven aerospace manikin and three post mortem human surrogate (PMHS) horizontal deceleration sled tests. The objective of this study was to establish a body of baseline data that examines the ability of small (fifth percentile) manikins to predict whole-body kinematics associated with aircraft ejection, and whether currently available head and neck injury criteria are applicable in these situations. Methods: Subjects were exposed to a short-duration local z-axis sled pulse while horizontally seated and restrained in an ejection seat. Test subjects included instrumented fifth percentile female and male manikins, and two small (163.8 cm, 48.3 kg; 143.5 cm, 48.6 kg) female and one small (166.2 cm, 54.3 kg) male PMHS. Results: The anterior (local x-axis) translations of the PMHS heads were less than those observed in the manikin tests, but the local z-axis translations of the PMHS heads were greater than those of the manikins. Z-axis translations of the manikins' T1 were generally similar to those of the PMHS T1, but the anterior x-axis translations of T1 were greater in the PMHS. The neck injury criterion (Nij) tended to under-predict observed injury (primarily ruptures of the posterior ligaments at C4-5, T2-3), and the Beam Criterion (BC) tended to over-predict observed injury for small occupants. The USN/USAF neck injury criteria (NIC) performed best in predicting the observed injuries. Discussion: Present manikin designs do not predict the kinematics of PMHS in ejection tests. Further refinement of existing injury criteria is required to accurately predict location and severity of ejection-induced injuries.
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Keywords: aircraft; anthropometry; ejection; hybrid-III; injury risk; post mortem human surrogates

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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