Automatic Body Protection for Paratrooper Landings

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911QY-06-C-0015
Agency Tracking Number: A052-194-0663
Amount: $69,983.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: A05-194
Solicitation Number: 2005.2
Small Business Information
15 Acorn Park, Cambridge, MA, 02140
DUNS: 111046152
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Stokes
 Human Factors Engineer
 (617) 498-6364
Business Contact
 Renee Wong
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: (617) 498-5655
Research Institution
Literature indicates that ankle and lower limb injuries present the greatest opportunity for reduction, given their high frequency of occurrence. Many solutions to reduce ankle injuries have been attempted - ankle braces to support the ankle during landing, cushioning devices to help absorb some of the impact force upon landing, and riser adjustments to reduce ground impact speed. However, these devices have limitations in practical use. Typical challenges associated with ankle protection include comfort, weight, bulk, ease of don/doff, secondary injury, and mobility. The restriction offered by braces becomes problematic after landings when the paratrooper needs to regain normal range of motion for running and walking. Sole cushions, if designed poorly, can cause inversion injuries by rolling the ankle. Our solution to achieve protection combines a sole cushion and ankle brace into one while allowing more normal extension and movement of the foot and ankle. By developing a system that provides the stability of an ankle brace, without the negative effects of bulk, weight, and reduced mobility, we can increase elective use in combat. Paratroopers will be more likely to wear a protective device if it doesn't affect their fightability once they have landed.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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