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A 5th Percentile FE Female Model for Predicting Injury Biomechanics during Dynamic Loading Conditions

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-23-P-6474
Agency Tracking Number: F221-0017-0203
Amount: $149,914.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF221-0017
Solicitation Number: 22.1
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-12-20
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-09-21
Small Business Information
6820 Moquin Dr NW
Huntsville, AL 35806-2900
United States
DUNS: 185169620
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Teja Garimella
 (256) 726-4923
Business Contact
 Tanu Singhal
Phone: (256) 361-0799
Research Institution

Today’s aircraft industry is trying to solve the primary causes of severe injury or death in survivable aircraft crashes through advancing crashworthiness technology. Computational models offer insights to understand the underlying mechanisms of human injury, leading to crucial design improvements of different aircraft equipment. Historically, computational models in this area have consisted of inertial segments of simplified geometry where the segments are connected by joints of varying motion definition. The outputs of these models are related to the kinematics they replicate such as segment displacement, velocities, and accelerations which are similar to test manikins. Recent advancements in computational capabilities such as finite element (FE) methods enable more accurate modeling of human interaction in such complex dynamic loading environments. Traditionally, these FE models have been developed to represent an average male (50th percentile in terms of height and weight). While these models can provide a valuable assessment of the mid-sized adult male, real world aircraft equipment safety evaluations are not limited to 50th percentile occupants and involves occupants of various size, age and gender. In the past, there have been efforts in developing small female occupant models to investigate the automotive crashes. However, there has never been a concerted effort to develop and validate a small female (5th percentile) human body model that can accommodate the evaluation of airworthiness for aircraft safety systems and aircrew flight equipment safety evaluations. Therefore, the overall objective here is to develop and validate a robust, biofidelic, 5th percentile female FE model for testing and evaluation of aircraft safety systems and simulation of injury predictions. In Phase I,  CFD Research will work on (i) developing accurate 5th percentile female human body surface models using medical image data processing and inhouse capabilities, (ii) developing and validating finite element meshes for different local organs against literature data, (iii) integrating the finite element meshes into a single finite element human body model, (iv) preliminary demonstration of the injury biomechanics predictions using the finite element model and (v) articulating the finite element model into different positions using inhouse capabilities. The models will be delivered to the government with a DoD use perpetual license. The Phase II work will involve maturing the preliminary FE model into a well-validated robust model that can be used to study the injury biomechanics under any dynamic loading scenario. This will involve efforts to improve and validate some of the individual local organ models, implement different active and passive musculature states and further validate the full body model for human/cadaver datasets. A stand-alone GUI tool (with inhouse articulation capabilities) to quickly re-position and articulate the FE model will also be developed.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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