Vehicle Crash Test Data Acquisition - A Review of Requirements, Technologies and Standards 2009-01-0054
This paper discusses the current and future demands and requirements placed on crash test Data Acquisition Systems (DAS) and the technologies available to address these demands. A full vehicle crash test today can require 250 to 350 sensors (not including the channels in a crash barrier load wall) and the complexity, size and mass of traditional DAS has many crash labs adopting alternate data acquisition strategies. Consumer information programs like EuroNCAP are putting four or more dummies in their tests, and the newer dummy designs have additional sensors for advanced injury assessment. The use of computer simulation models, while reducing the number of physical crash tests, has required additional and unique sensors in the dummies and vehicle to generate critical data for validation of the models. These new sensors include angular rate and optical deflection measurements. The umbilical cable of a crash dummy with sixty or more sensors is too large to be practical to install and affects the dynamic response of the dummy, and new dummies are designed with miniature DAS installed inside the dummy. An in-dummy DAS eliminates the umbilical, and essentially adds no mass to the test weight of the vehicle, and is also used in pedestrian dummies and dummies used in rollover tests. The test vehicle has its own trailing umbilical cable to supply power and communication to the onboard systems, but trailing cables are not reliable for the new series of rollover tests, so wireless control and battery powered systems are required.