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Stand Alone Sensor for Air Bag and Restraint System Activation in An Underbody Blast Event


OBJECTIVE: Develop a self contained sensor that activates passive safety systems such as air bags and pyrotechnic restraint systems in underbody blast events. DESCRIPTION: The Army does not possess a sensor system which can effectively activate passive safety systems (such as air bags and pyrotechnic restraints) to provide protection to the Soldier during underbody blast events. Integration of sensors commonly found in automotive applications would not be suitable for Military vehicles, due to the fact that peak accelerations occurring in underbody blast events are larger in magnitude and occur within a shorter time span than in an automotive crash or impact event. Typical automotive crash events have peak accelerations of 25 to 50 g in a time duration of 70 to 120 milliseconds (ms) as compared to underbody blast events that have peak accelerations of 100 to 400 g in a time duration of 3 to 30 ms (REF: During the short time duration of a blast event, the Soldier experiences high accelerative loads in which injuries and deaths occur. This effort would focus on designing, manufacturing and validating a sensor system that is self-contained, powered by an internal source and connected to the vehicle to provide diagnostic support and internal source charging. The sensor would be mounted at each seat location and would activate the necessary passive safety devices such as air bags and pyrotechnic restraint systems for that seat system in the time span of 0.5 ms from the initiation of the event to the deployment of the passive safety device. For reference purposes, in an automotive crash event, the passive safety device is activated 10 ms or later depending on the event. As developed the system cost for a self contained sensor should utilize as much off the shelf technologies as feasible to produce a system that can be reasonably produced and priced within the range of $600 per unit. As the development progresses and volumes increase unit costs should become more cost effective and approach a price point of $350 per unit. PHASE I: Develop and design a sensor to detect underbody blast events. During this phase the sensor shall be validated through underbody blast modeling and simulation scenarios. PHASE II: Develop, manufacture and demonstrate a prototype sensor system and validate the performance in an underbody blast. The sensor will demonstrate the ability to activate passive systems in a time span of 0.5 Milliseconds while being mounted in the intended orientation within the vehicle. Conduct testing to prove feasibility over extended operating conditions. PHASE III: The development of this advanced sensor has potential in Military and Automotive environments in passive safety system activation in Blast, Crash and Rollover Occupant protection. When designed the self contained sensor will not require an external sensor (Satellite Sensors) to be connected to it. By eliminating the satellite sensors a cost savings of potentially $110 each (up to six sensors can be utilized at one time) exists. As a benefit to not only the Military but the Consumer Automotive exists when vehicular volumes are considered. Ideally the development will yield systems that can be directly coupled to Pyrotechnic Restraint Systems, Air Bags and other Safety Equipment which is activated via a crash sensor. This would provide further cost savings and benefits. REFERENCES: 1. 2.
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