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Technical Paper

Vehicle Crash Research and Manufacturing Experience

The search for improvements in occupant protection under vehicle impact is hampered by a real lack of reliable biomechanical data. To help fill this void, General Motors has initiated joint research with independent researchers such as the School of Medicine, U. C. L. A. – in this case to study localized head and facial trauma — and has developed such unique laboratory tools as “Tramasaf,” a human-simulating headform, and “MetNet,” a pressure-sensitive metal foam. Research applied directly to product design also has culminated in developments such as the Side-Guard Beam for side impact protection.
Technical Paper

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute Education and Public Outreach Program: Engaging the Public and Inspiring the Next Generation of Space Explorers

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), established in 1997, is a twelve-university consortium dedicated to research that will impact mankind's next exploratory steps. The NSBRI's Education and Public Outreach Program (EPOP), is supporting NASA's education mission to, “Inspire the next generations…as only NASA can,” through a comprehensive Kindergarten through post-doctoral education program. The goals of the EPOP are to: communicate space exploration biology to schools; support undergraduate and graduate space-based courses and degrees; fund postdoctoral fellows to pursue space life sciences research; and engage national and international audiences to promote understanding of how space exploration benefits people on Earth. NSBRI EPOP presents its accomplishments as an educational strategy for supporting science education reform, workforce development, and public outreach.
Technical Paper

The General Motors Driving Simulator

A driving simulator development project at the Systems Engineering and Technical Process Center (SE/TP) is exploring the role of driving simulation in the vehicle design process. The simulator provides two vehicle mockup testing arenas that support a wide field of view, computer-generated image of the road scene which dynamically responds to driver commands as a function of programmable vehicle model parameters. Two unique aspects of the simulator are the fast 65 ms response time and low incidence rate of simulator induced syndrome (about 5%). Preliminary model validation results and data comparing driver performance in a vehicle vs. the simulator indicate accurate handling response dynamics within the on-center handling region (<0.3g lateral acceleration). Applications have included supporting the development of new steering system concepts, as well as evaluating the usability of vehicle controls and displays.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Limiting Shoulder Belt Load with Air Bag Restraint

The dilemma of using a shoulder belt force limiter with a 3-point belt system is selecting a limit load that will balance the reduced risk of significant thoracic injury due to the shoulder belt loading of the chest against the increased risk of significant head injury due to the greater upper torso motion allowed by the shoulder belt load limiter. However, with the use of air bags, this dilemma is more manageable since it only occurs for non-deploy accidents where the risk of significant head injury is low even for the unbelted occupant. A study was done using a validated occupant dynamics model of the Hybrid III dummy to investigate the effects that a prescribed set of shoulder belt force limits had on head and thoracic responses for 48 and 56 km/h barrier simulations with driver air bag deployment and for threshold crash severity simulations with no air bag deployment.
Technical Paper

The Application of Direct Body Excitation Toward Developing a Full Vehicle Objective Squeak and Rattle Metric

In order to engineer Squeak & Rattle (S&R) free vehicles it is essential to develop an objective measurement method to compare and correlate with customer satisfaction and subjective S&R assessments. Three methods for exciting S&Rs -type surfaces. Excitation methods evaluated were road tests over S&R surfaces, road simulators, and direct body excitation (DBE). The principle of DBE involves using electromagnetic shakers to induce controlled, road-measured vibration into the body, bypassing the tire patch and suspension. DBE is a promising technology for making objective measurements because it is extremely quiet (test equipment noise does not mask S&Rs), while meeting other project goals. While DBE is limited in exposing S&Rs caused by body twist and suspension noises, advantages include higher frequency energy owing to electro-dynamic shakers, continuous random excitation, lower capital cost, mobility, and safety.
Technical Paper

Simulation of the Hybrid III Dummy Response to Impact by Nonlinear Finite Element Analysis

The Hybrid III dummy is an anthropomorphic (humanlike) test device, generally used in crashworthiness testing to assess the extent of occupant protection provided by the vehicle structure and its restraint systems in the event of vehicle crash. Lumped-parameter analytical models are commonly used to simulate the dummy response. These models, by virtue of their limited number of degrees of freedom, can neither represent accurate three-dimensional dummy geometry nor detailed structural deformations. In an effort to improve the state-of-the-art in analytical dummy simulations, a set of finite element models of the Hybrid III dummy segments - head, neck, thorax, spine, pelvis, knee, upper extremities and lower extremities - were developed. The component models replicated the hardware geometry as closely as possible. Appropriate elastic material models were selected for the dummy “skeleton”, with the exterior “soft tissues” represented by viscoelastic materials.
Technical Paper

Safety Belt Buckle Environment in Vehicle Planar Crash Tests

A study was conducted by General Motors at its crash test facility located at the Milford Proving Ground. The intent of this study was to expand upon the currently available research regarding the safety belt buckle environment during full scale planar crash tests. Buckle accelerations and webbing tensions were measured and recorded to characterize, in part, buckle responses in a crash environment. Previous studies have focused primarily on the component level testing of safety belt buckles. The crash tests included a variety of vehicles, impact types, seating positions, Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATDs), impact speeds, and impact angles. Also included were various safety belt restraint systems and pretensioner designs. This study reports on data recorded from 100 full scale crash tests with 180 instrumented end release safety belt buckles. Acceleration measurements were obtained with tri-axial accelerometers mounted onto the buckles.
Technical Paper

SIR Sensor Closure Time Prediction for Frontal Impact Using Full Vehicle Finite Element Analysis

This paper describes an analytical method to predict the sensor closure time for an airbag (Supplemental Inflatable Restraint - SIR) system in frontal impacts. The analytical tools used are the explicit finite element code, an in-house sensor closure time prediction program, and a full vehicle finite element model. Nodal point information obtained from the full vehicle finite element simulation is used to predict the sensor closure time of the airbag system. This analytical method can provide the important crash signature information for a SIR system development of a new vehicle program. In this paper, 0-degree frontal impacts at four different impact speeds with two different bumper energy absorption systems are studied using the non-linear finite element computer program DYNA3D. It is concluded that this analytical method is very useful to predict the SIR sensor closure time.
Technical Paper

Rollover Sensor Signature Test Development

Although rollover crashes represent a small fraction (approximately 3%) of all motor vehicle crashes, they account for roughly one quarter of crash fatalities to occupants of cars, light trucks, and vans (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts, 2004). Therefore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified rollover injuries as one of its safety priorities. Motor vehicle manufacturers are developing technologies to reduce the risk of injury associated with rollover collisions. This paper describes the development by General Motors Corporation (GM) of a suite of laboratory tests that can be used to develop sensors that can deploy occupant protection devices like roof rail side air bags and pretensioners in a rollover as well as a discussion of the challenges of conducting this suite of tests.
Technical Paper

Responses of Animals Exposed to Deployment of Various Passenger Inflatable Restraint System Concepts for a Variety of Collision Severities and Animal Positions

This paper summarizes the results of tests conducted with anesthetized animals that were exposed to a wide range of passenger inflatable restraint cushion forces for a variety of impact sled - simulated accident conditions. The test configurations and inflatable restraint system concepts were selected to produce a broad spectrum of injury types and severities to the major organs of the head, neck and torso of the animals. These data were needed to interpret the significance of the responses of an instrumented child dummy that was being used to evaluate child injury potential of the passenger inflatable restraint system being developed by General Motors Corporation. Injuries ranging from no injury to fatal were observed for the head, neck and abdomen regions. Thoracic injuries ranged from no injury to critical, survival uncertain.
Technical Paper

Research Alliances, A Strategy for Progress

In today's business climate rapid access to, and implementation of, new technology is essential to enhance competitive advantage. In the past, universities have been used for research contracts, but to fully utilize the intellectual resources of education institutions, it is essential to approach these relationships from a new basis: alliance. Alliances permit both parties to become active participants and achieve mutually beneficial goals. This paper will examine the drivers and challenges for industrial -- university alliances from both the industrial and academic perspectives.
Technical Paper

Requirements and Potential for Enhanced EVA Information Interfaces

NASA has long recognized the advantages of providing improved information interfaces to EVA astronauts and has pursued this goal through a number of development programs over the past decade. None of these activities or parallel efforts in industry and academia has so far resulted in the development of an operational system to replace or augment the current extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) Display and Controls Module (DCM) display and cuff checklist. Recent advances in display, communications, and information processing technologies offer exciting new opportunities for EVA information interfaces that can better serve the needs of a variety of NASA missions. Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems International (HSSSI) has been collaborating with Simon Fraser University and others on the NASA Haughton Mars Project and with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boeing, and Symbol Technologies in investigating these possibilities.
Technical Paper

Refinement and Verification of the Structural Stress Method for Fatigue Life Prediction of Resistance Spot Welds Under Variable Amplitude Loads

The work presented here builds on the practical and effective spot weld fatigue life prediction method, the structural stress method (SSM), that was developed at Stanford University. Constant amplitude loading tests for various spot weld joint configurations have been conducted and the SSM has been shown to accurately predict fatigue life. In this paper refinements to the structural stress approach are first presented, including a variable amplitude fatigue life prediction method based on the SSM and Palmgren-Miner's rule. A test matrix was designed to study the fatigue behavior of spot welds under tensile shear loading conditions. Constant amplitude tests under different R-ratios were performed first to obtain the necessary material properties. Variable amplitude tests were then performed for specimens containing single and multiple welds.
Technical Paper

Racing Car Restraint System Frontal Crash Performance Testing

This paper presents the results of a series of over 30 impact sled simulations of racing car frontal crashes conducted as part of the GM Motorsports Safety Technology Research Program. A Hyge™ impact sled fitted with a simulated racing car seat and restraint system was used to simulate realistic crash loading with a mid-size male Hybrid III dummy. The results of tests, in the form of measured loads, displacements, and accelerations, are presented and comparisons made with respect to the levels of these parameters seen in typical passenger car crash testing and to current injury threshold values.
Technical Paper

Part Two - Dummies - Description and Basis of a Three-Year-Old Child Dummy Or Evaluating Passenger Inflatable Restraint Concepts

A primary concern in the development of a passenger inflatable restraint system is the possibility that a child could be in the path of the deploying cushion either due to initial position at the time of an accident or due to precrash braking accompanying an accident. Previous studies by General Motors and Volvo have indicated that serious injuries to children are possible if the cushion/child interaction forces are not controlled by system design. This paper describes an instrumented child dummy which was developed to provide measurements of the various cushion/child interaction forces. An analysis is given describing the types of injuries which could be associated with the various types of interaction forces. These results were used to develop appropriate dummy instrumentation for indicating the severity of the cushion/child interaction. A description of the modifications made to an existing three-year-old child dummy are described.
Technical Paper

Occupant Energy Management Technique for Restraint System Analysis and Design -Theory and Validation

In this paper, the concept of ridedown analysis is extended to provide the total occupant energy and ridedown energy as functions of time. The difference between the total occupant energy and the energy absorbed by the front structure represents the energy which is dissipated by deforming the components of the restraint system. This analysis allows an improved understanding of the restraint system as a whole, and how its components interact with each other and with the front structure of the car to dissipate the occupant's energy throughout the crash event.
Technical Paper

Numerical Simulation of a Vehicle Side Impact Test: Development. Application and Design Iterations

This paper describes a numerical simulation technique applicable to the FMVSS 214 side impact test through the use of the finite element method (FEM) technology. The paper outlines the development of the side impact dummy (SID), moving deformable barrier (MDB) and the test vehicle FEM models, as well as the development of new advanced constitutive models of materials and algorithms in LS-DYNA3D which are related to the topic. Presented in the paper are some initial simulation problems which were encountered and solved, as well as the correlation of the simulation data to the physical test.
Technical Paper

Modeling Space Suit Mobility: Applications to Design and Operations

Computer simulation of extravehicular activity (EVA) is increasingly being used in planning and training for EVA. A space suit model is an important, but often overlooked, component of an EVA simulation. Because of the inherent difficulties in collecting angle and torque data for space suit joints in realistic conditions, little data exists on the torques that a space suit’s wearer must provide in order to move in the space suit. A joint angle and torque database was compiled on the Extravehicular Maneuvering Unit (EMU), with a novel measurement technique that used both human test subjects and an instrumented robot. Using data collected in the experiment, a hysteresis modeling technique was used to predict EMU joint torques from joint angular positions. The hysteresis model was then applied to EVA operations by mapping out the reach and work envelopes for the EMU.
Technical Paper

Interpretations of the Impact Responses of a 3-Year-Old Child Dummy Relative to Child Injury Potential

An analysis is presented that was used to interpret the significance of response measurements made with a specially instrumented, 3-year-old child dummy that was used to evaluate child injury potential of the second-generation, passenger inflatable restraint system that was being developed by General Motors Corporation. Anesthetized animals and a specially instrumented child dummy, both 3-year-old child surrogates, were exposed to similar inflating-cushion, simulated collision environments. The exposure environments were chosen to produce a wide spectrum of animal injury types and severities, and a corresponding broad range of child dummy responses. For a given exposure environment, the animal injury severity ratings for the head, neck, thorax and abdomen are paired with dummy response values corresponding to these body regions.
Technical Paper

Human Volunteer Testing of GM Air Cushions

From November 1970 through August 1971 an extensive program of static and dynamic air cushion inflation tests utilizing human volunteers was conducted at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, sponsored by the Department of Transportation. Forty-one full cushion deployment static firings were made, with air cushion hardware and seating buck environment designed by General Motors. The static series was followed by 35 dynamic sled firings of human volunteers, beginning at 8.6 g (15.1 mph) and culminating at 21.7 g (31.5 mph). A major objective of both the static and dynamic test series was to identify changes in air-cushion design found necessary to improve its protective capability for human beings. Because of the severity of cushion deployment, one modification was made following the initial static tests: The orifice diameter size of the bag inlet was reduced from 1.0 to 0.6 in to diminish the rapidity of bag inflation. This modification proved effective in the dynamic series.