Monitoring Race Car Drivers Using Helmet and Head-Mounted Sensors 2000-01-3557
Air Force (AF) pilots experience forces during emergency escape and/or crash with potential for head and neck injuries. These forces are increased by aerodynamic and inertial properties of current helmet-mounted systems used for flight display and targeting. The motorsports industry has documented many injury-causing crashes and has a higher incidence of mishaps. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has entered into cooperative research with motorsports to establish a relationship between multi-axis impact acceleration and injury for improving pilot/driver protection concepts. This paper reports the development and preliminary results of using an instrumented race helmet to obtain head accelerations during racing mishaps. These data may be used to calculate neck loads for correlation to injury, and to revise impact tolerance criteria pertinent to military and commercial crash protection.