Pressure Sensing Headforms for Quantitative Analysis of Contact Pressure Distribution from Head Mounted Protective Equipment
Award last edited on: 8/29/02

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
DOD : Army
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Anand D Kasbekar

Company Information

Visual Sciences Inc

13450 Sunrise Valley Drive
Herndon, VA 20170
   (202) 595-0066
Location: Single
Congr. District: 11
County: Fairfax

Phase I

Contract Number: DAAD17-99-C-0016
Start Date: 12/17/98    Completed: 8/9/99
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
Advances in both hardware and software technology in the areas of pressure sensor technology and automated data acquisition make it feasible to configure complex test equipment in an efficient and cost effective manner. The proposed research involves reviewing available sensor technologies and selecting the most appropriate sensors to develop an easy to use reliable and accurate pressure sensing headform that will enable researchers and equipment designers to evaluate pressure distribution for various types of headmounted protective equipment. Additionally, specialty silicones and other polymer blends will be used in conjunction with published and measured data on real human tissue to develop a realistic headform surface with material properties that mimic human tissue. The properties are essential to ensure that the headform does not unrealistically conform to the subject protective equipment orvice-versa. This system should also be capable of being outfitted with a breathing simulator to be used when testing respirator masks and similar devices. A complete head pressure analysis system will be designed and a prototype system constructed as proof-of-concept. This design will provide for a cost-effective method to incorporate multiple headforms that will utilize the same sensor technology and data acquisition hardware and software.

Test apparatus for evaluating protective equipment is valuable to both military and commercial industry for product optimization prior to developing costly tooling. CAD andsimulation tools require such test equipment for physical validation of computer models. Nile combined use of simulation and physical testing will yield Improved designs with unprecedented performance reliability and comfort over a wide range of environmental and operating conditions.

Phase II

Contract Number: DAAD17-00-C-0017
Start Date: 1/19/00    Completed: 1/19/02
Phase II year
Phase II Amount
The US army seeks to develop realistic headforms with integrated sensors to reliably evaluate contact pressure distribution between the head/face and various types of head mounted protective equipment. The required sensing system range is 350 g/cm2 with a sensitivity of I to 5 g/cm2 in the 0-20 gm/cm2 range. Headforms must have realistic tissue properties so as to deform under load similar to real facial tissue. The surface must have a coefficient of friction similar to human skin. The headform should have provisions for a breathing simulator to support testing of respirator masks. This proposal describes a complete system that meets the Army's requirements and provides a practical engineering tool to evaluate the design of head mounted protective equipment. VS! has evaluated several force sensing technologies and has identified the most suitable technology for the successful development of reliable quantitative pressure sensing headforms. This proposal presents a comprehensive Phase II program that flirther develops the initial design concepts from the Phase I program and creates 4 working headforms for evaluating fit and comfort of military and commercial head mounted equipment. Core technologies developed under this program have numerous applications in commercial sectors that require either sub-miniature force sensors or accurate pressure sensing arrays.

The technology developed under this program will not only reduce the time and cost associated with fitting and modification of existing protective masks, but will provide an invaluable tool for the design of future protective equipment for both military and commercial use. Commercialization from the ability to quantitatively evaluate contact pressure to characterize and optimize pressure distribution tissue surfaces.

pressure distribution sensor headform face respirator mask protective equipment skin