Introduction: This study presents the results of seven aerospace manikin and three post mortem human surrogate (PMHS) horizontal deceleration sled tests. The objective of this study was to establish a body of baseline data that examines the ability of small (fifth percentile) manikins to predict whole-body kinematics associated with aircraft ejection, and whether currently available head and neck injury criteria are applicable in these situations.
Methods: Subjects were exposed to a short-duration local z-axis sled pulse while horizontally seated and restrained in an ejection seat. Test subjects included instrumented fifth percentile female and male manikins, and two small (163.8 cm, 48.3 kg; 143.5 cm, 48.6 kg) female and one small (166.2 cm, 54.3 kg) male PMHS.
Results: The anterior (local x-axis) translations of the PMHS heads were less than those observed in the manikin tests, but the local z-axis translations of the PMHS heads were greater than those of the manikins. Z-axis translations of the manikins' T1 were generally similar to those of the PMHS T1, but the anterior x-axis translations of T1 were greater in the PMHS. The neck injury criterion (Nij) tended to under-predict observed injury (primarily ruptures of the posterior ligaments at C4-5, T2-3), and the Beam Criterion (BC) tended to over-predict observed injury for small occupants. The USN/USAF neck injury criteria (NIC) performed best in predicting the observed injuries.
Discussion: Present manikin designs do not predict the kinematics of PMHS in ejection tests. Further refinement of existing injury criteria is required to accurately predict location and severity of ejection-induced injuries.