Vertical Accelerator for Visual-Vestibular Acuity Testing and Training

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-08-C-0031
Agency Tracking Number: O052-H13-3141
Amount: $749,998.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: OSD05-H13
Solicitation Number: 2005.2
Small Business Information
205 Williamson Square, Franklin, TN, 37064
DUNS: 016551561
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jeffrey Paine
 Chief Manager
 (615) 595-6665
Business Contact
 Murray Johns
Title: V.P. Operations
Phone: (615) 595-6665
Research Institution
Military personnel are often subjected to significant vertical acceleration while carrying out their duties. Such acceleration can interfere with the individual’s ability to view platform-fixed displays by inducing spatial disorientation and/or motion sickness. The resulting decrease in personnel performance arises from head movements and posture-maintaining muscle coordination that are the body’s response to vestibular-ocular reflexes. Suppression of these reflexes can lead to improved functional performance; repeated exposure to vertical linear motions can desensitize a person from these natural reflexes. The development of a vertical linear accelerator (VLA) system will enable researchers to accurately test for, evaluate, and even provide rehabilitation for the effects of vertical acceleration on the vestibular-ocular reflexes. In the Phase I effort, Dynamic Structures and Materials (DSM) produced a 1/3rd scale VLA prototype using linear motors and air bearing technologies that tracked commanded position within +/-100 microns at speeds up to 7 ft/s. Operational frequencies of up to 4 Hz were demonstrated. Velocity tracking was within 0.9% of the commanded velocity. Sound measurements were within ambient noise levels. DSM proposes this Phase II effort to develop and install a full-scale VLA that will provide an important training and testing tool for both screening and desensitization applications.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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