Improving Earpiece Accelerometer Coupling to the Head 2008-01-2978
As accurate measuring of head accelerations is an important aspect in predicting head injury, it is important that the measuring sensor be well-coupled to the head. Various sensors and sensor mounting schemes have been attempted in the past with varying results. This study uses a small, implantable acceleration sensor pack in the ear to study impact coupling with the human skull. The output from these ear-mounted accelerometers is compared to laboratory reference accelerometers rigidly attached to the skull of two cadaveric head specimens for both low-amplitude oscillatory tests and high-amplitude impact drop tests. The combination of sensor type and mounting scheme demonstrates the feasibility of using ear mounted sensors to predict head acceleration response. Previously reported progressive phase lag was not seen in this study, with the comparison between ear mounted accelerometers and rigidly mounted head accelerometers ranging from very good to excellent.