The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has initiated research to develop performance specifications for dummy-based accelerometers in the crash test environment, and to provide criteria for defining and establishing equivalent performance among accelerometers from different manufacturers. These research efforts are within the general guidelines on transducer equivalency outlined in the current revision of the Society of Automotive Engineers recommended practice, Instrumentation for Impact Test, SAE 211/2 March 1995.
Representative data from vehicle crash and component level tests have been analyzed to determine the acceleration levels and frequency content in a realistic dynamic environment for dummy-based accelerometers. A series of component level tests (head drop calibration tests) and initial calibration tests (using a State-of-the Art commercially available comparison shock calibrator) were performed with a selection of accelerometers to determine dynamic response variability. A limited series of glazing tests is presented with discussion of the implications that high frequency accelerometer resonance response has on accelerometer selection and data acquisition practices. The results of these tests and recommendations for possible test procedures for evaluating accelerometer performance and equivalency in the crash test environment are presented.