Helmet Sensors Measure Blast Impact

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The Army is reporting on a new helmet sensor that might lead to better helmets in the future. Here's a bit:

The sensors gather data on impacts ranging from a dropped or kicked helmet to a vehicle crash to a nearby weapon firing or explosion, Maj. Schaffer explained. They measure two specific actions: the energy wave generated by the "event," and the "acceleration" or jolt that follows.

In the short term, data collected through the sensors is expected to help the Army improve the helmets and other protective equipment it provides its soldiers, Maj. Schaffer said.

A longer-term application -- one Maj. Schaffer emphasized the medical community isn't yet ready for -- is to use impact data to help diagnose traumatic brain injuries.

"With the number of IEDs that we're seeing in Iraq and the traumatic brain injury that's coming out of it, obviously somewhere down the line we are looking at correlating the blast and the injury," he said. "But in the near term, we are looking at developing a more protective piece of equipment. The advanced combat helmet we have out there is the best in the world, but we are always looking at ways to make our products better, and this is a great way to start."

Read the entire article here.

-- Ward

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