Browse Publications Technical Papers 2003-01-0497

Advancements in Equipment and Testing Methodologies for Airbag Systems in Response to Changes to Federal Safety Requirements 2003-01-0497

As a result of changing safety regulations, airbag manufacturers and automakers are continually creating and developing new types of airbag systems. These devices are used to afford protection to vehicle occupants in the event of a collision. Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) established new requirements for airbags under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 208 - Occupant Crash Protection [1] and FMVSS 201U - Upper Interior Head Impact Protection [2]. This paper will discuss improved testing equipment and methodologies in the areas of component and full-vehicle testing involving various types of airbags. This work has been the direct result of numerous airbag system development projects currently underway.
The types of new equipment and test methodologies for airbags that will be discussed in this paper include:
  • Airbag Deployment Chamber for Static Airbag Deployment
  • Synchronized Airbag Deployment/Dummy Impact Testing
  • FMVSS 201U Targeting Including Side Curtain Airbag Zone Determination
  • Side Pole/Curtain Airbag Development Sled Simulation Testing
  • FMVSS 208 Out-of-Position (OOP) Static Airbag Deployment Testing
Readers of this paper will gain a broader understanding of the new developments in airbag design, testing, and validation. This paper will provide information regarding the latest changes to the federal safety regulations with respect to advanced airbag devices and a summary of required testing. It will also offer details regarding the new testing equipment and test methodologies available today.


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