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Project Title:  Occupant Protection Data Mining and Modeling Project Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2015 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 06/20/2012  
End Date: 04/30/2015  
Task Last Updated: 09/08/2015 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Gernhardt, Michael  Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  2101 NASA Parkway, Code ER 
EVA Physiology Laboratory / Advanced Exploration Systems 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: michael.l.gernhardt@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-244-0125  
Congressional District: 22 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Somers, Jeffrey  M.S. Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering Group 
Untaroiu, Costin  Ph.D. Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University 
Perry, Chris  Ph.D. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base 
Newby, Nathaniel  M.S. Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering Group 
Caldwell, Erin  Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering Group 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Directed Research 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Whitmore, Mihriban  
Center Contact: 281-244-1004 
mihriban.whitmore-1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Occupant Protection:Risk of Injury from Dynamic Loads (Risk move from HHC to SHFH per IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) OP03:We do not know how load dynamics and sex differences affect injury risk in spaceflight conditions and how to mitigate the increased risk of injury (IRP Rev F)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date changed to 4/30/2015 per P. Baskin/JSC HRP (Ed., 2/9/15)

NOTE: to be extended to 12/30/2014 per CoI (Ed., 4/25/14)

Task Description: Current National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Occupant Protection standards and requirements are based on extrapolations of biodynamic models, which were based on human tests performed during pre-Space Shuttle human flight programs. In these tests, occupants were in different suit and seat configurations than are expected for the Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and Commercial Crew programs. As a result, there is limited statistical validity to the Occupant Protection standards. Furthermore, the current standards and requirements have not been validated in relevant spaceflight suit and seat configurations or expected loading conditions.

To address the limitations of the current NASA standards, this study will address the following two objectives: 1) Develop a Finite Element (FE) model of Test device for Human Occupant Restraint (THOR) Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD), and 2) Conduct data mining of existing human injury and response data using the THOR FE model.

In order to develop updated standards, adequate injury assessment tools must be chosen and developed. In the case of dynamic loads, the THOR ATD was chosen as the appropriate human surrogate. For the data mining portion of the task, re-creation of the conditions of each impact case is needed to determine injury risk. Since physical re-creation of each case is not feasible, a numerical model of the THOR ATD is desired. An existing THOR FE model will be refined and validated. To supplement available THOR ATD validation data, additional THOR ATD testing will be conducted at two facilities and ATD response data will be collected. The FE model responses will then be assessed against the physical ATD responses. Once the ATD model is validated, it can be used for the data mining portion of the study.

Because analogous spaceflight injury biomechanics data are very limited, data mining of other analogous environments will be used. These datasets are chosen as they have similarities with the landing environment expected in future vehicles. The existing human injury and response data from other sources include historical military volunteer testing, automotive Crash Injury Research Engineering Network (CIREN), IndyCar impacts, and NASCAR impacts. These data sources can allow better extrapolation of the ATD responses to off-nominal conditions above the nominal range that can safely be tested in humans. These elements will be used to develop injury risk functions for each of the injury metrics measured from the ATD. These risk functions would then be incorporated with the results of other Tasks to update the NASA standards.

Task Description:

The ultimate aim of this project is to develop Occupant Protection standards for NASA that would apply to all future crewed spacecraft.

1. Conduct ATD dynamic tests to relate human and ATD responses.

2. Mine existing human injury and tolerance data and simulate dynamic environments using Finite Element (FE) models. Relate human injury and responses to ATD estimated responses from FE models.

3. Develop injury risk functions based on ATD responses and develop NASA standards from these functions.

Rationale for HRP Directed Research: This research is directed because NASA must define complete scientific activities in a short time and there is insufficient time to issue a solicitation.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The results of this study have a significant impact on terrestrial applications in the automotive and aviation safety communities. This study has access to unique and previously unpublished human impact exposure data, which allows new insight into human tolerance to dynamic loads. This can have a direct benefit on future protection systems in automobiles and aircraft.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2015 
Task Progress: Current National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) occupant protection standards and requirements are based on extrapolations of biodynamic models, which were based on human tests performed during pre-Space Shuttle human flight programs. In these tests, occupants were in different suit and seat configurations than are expected for the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and Commercial Crew programs. As a result, there is limited statistical validity to the occupant protection standards. Furthermore, the current standards and requirements have not been validated in relevant spaceflight suit and seat configurations or expected loading conditions.

The objectives of this study are to use current modeling techniques and industry standard approaches to analyze existing human databases to develop new NASA standards and requirements for occupant protection. To accomplish these objectives we began by determining which critical injuries NASA needs to mitigate. We then defined the anthropomorphic test device (ATD) and the associated injury metrics of interest. Finally, we conducted a literature review of available data for the Test Device for Human Occupant Restraint (THOR) ATD to determine injury assessment reference values (IARV) to serve as a baseline for further development.

The first objective of this study was to assess the THOR for use by NASA in developing and validating occupant protection standards. THOR was impact tested in various orientations and multiple peak acceleration levels, and responses to these impacts differed from human responses under identical impact conditions and do not replicate human bracing for impact. As part of this study, a finite element model (FEM) of the THOR was developed, calibrated, and optimized. The FEM proved a good match to the ATD. The FEM simulations (at a wide range of impacts that military subjects participated in) historically revealed that the FEM correlated to lower-peak acceleration impacts better than to higher-peak accelerations.

The second objective of this study was to mine existing human injury and exposure data. The U.S. Air Force maintains thousands of human-impact-test results. Data collected from 1976 to 2004 have been downloaded and converted into a user-friendly MATLAB data structure format. The team created IARVs for several metrics mined from existing injury literature. The IARVs for the spine and chest deflection subsequently were refined based upon statistical models of combined non-injurious and injurious literature data. This work culminated in the development of an acceptable risk of injury from spaceflight, which included a newly developed operationally relevant injury scale.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 10/31/2019) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Somers JT, Gohmert DM, Brinkley JW. "Spacecraft occupant protection requirements: A review of the recent changes." Aviat Space Environ Med. 2014 Sep;85:940–8. http://dx.doi.org/10.3357/ASEM.4004.2014 ; PubMed PMID: 25197893 , Sep-2014
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Putnam JB, Somers JT, Wells JA, Perry CE, Untaroiu CD. "Development and evaluation of a finite element model of the THOR for occupant protection of spaceflight crewmembers." Accid Anal Prev. 2015 Sep;82:244-56. Epub 2015 Jun 20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2015.05.002 ; PubMed PMID: 26103438 , Sep-2015
Papers from Meeting Proceedings Untaroiu CD, Putnam JB, Somers JT. "A finite-element model of the THOR Mod Kit dummy for aerospace impact applications." 13th International LS-DYNA Users Conference, Dearborn, MI, June 2014.

13th International LS-DYNA Users Conference, Dearborn, MI, June 2014. , Jun-2014

Papers from Meeting Proceedings Untaroiu CD, Putnam JB, Somers JT, Pellettiere JA. "Preliminary calibration and validation of a finite element model of THOR Mod Kit dummy." ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Buffalo, New York, August 17–20, 2014.

In: ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Buffalo, New York, August 17–20, 2014. Volume 3: 16th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 11th International Conference on Design Education; 7th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014. Paper No. DETC2014-34663, pp. V003T01A012; 8 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.1115/DETC2014-34663 , Aug-2014

Project Title:  Occupant Protection Data Mining and Modeling Project Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2014 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 06/20/2012  
End Date: 04/30/2015  
Task Last Updated: 04/24/2014 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Gernhardt, Michael  Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  2101 NASA Parkway, Code ER 
EVA Physiology Laboratory / Advanced Exploration Systems 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: michael.l.gernhardt@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-244-0125  
Congressional District: 22 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Somers, Jeffrey  M.S. Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering Group 
Untaroiu, Costin  Ph.D. Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University 
Perry, Chris  Ph.D. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base 
Newby, Nathaniel  M.S. Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering Group 
Caldwell, Erin  Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering Group 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Directed Research 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Whitmore, Mihriban  
Center Contact: 281-244-1004 
mihriban.whitmore-1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Occupant Protection:Risk of Injury from Dynamic Loads (Risk move from HHC to SHFH per IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) OP03:We do not know how load dynamics and sex differences affect injury risk in spaceflight conditions and how to mitigate the increased risk of injury (IRP Rev F)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date changed to 4/30/2015 per P. Baskin/JSC HRP (Ed., 2/9/15)

NOTE: to be extended to 12/30/2014 per CoI (Ed., 4/25/14)

Task Description: Current National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Occupant Protection standards and requirements are based on extrapolations of biodynamic models, which were based on human tests performed during pre-Space Shuttle human flight programs. In these tests, occupants were in different suit and seat configurations than are expected for the Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and Commercial Crew programs. As a result, there is limited statistical validity to the Occupant Protection standards. Furthermore, the current standards and requirements have not been validated in relevant spaceflight suit and seat configurations or expected loading conditions.

To address the limitations of the current NASA standards, this study will address the following two objectives: 1) Develop a Finite Element (FE) model of Test device for Human Occupant Restraint (THOR) Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD), and 2) Conduct data mining of existing human injury and response data using the THOR FE model.

In order to develop updated standards, adequate injury assessment tools must be chosen and developed. In the case of dynamic loads, the THOR ATD was chosen as the appropriate human surrogate. For the data mining portion of the task, re-creation of the conditions of each impact case is needed to determine injury risk. Since physical re-creation of each case is not feasible, a numerical model of the THOR ATD is desired. An existing THOR FE model will be refined and validated. To supplement available THOR ATD validation data, additional THOR ATD testing will be conducted at two facilities and ATD response data will be collected. The FE model responses will then be assessed against the physical ATD responses. Once the ATD model is validated, it can be used for the data mining portion of the study.

Because analogous space flight injury biomechanics data are very limited, data mining of other analogous environments will be used. These datasets are chosen as they have similarities with the landing environment expected in future vehicles. The existing human injury and response data from other sources include historical military volunteer testing, automotive Crash Injury Research Engineering Network (CIREN), IndyCar impacts, and NASCAR impacts. These data sources can allow better extrapolation of the ATD responses to off-nominal conditions above the nominal range that can safely be tested in humans. These elements will be used to develop injury risk functions for each of the injury metrics measured from the ATD. These risk functions would then be incorporated with the results of other Tasks to update the NASA standards.

Task Description:

The ultimate aim of this project is to develop Occupant Protection standards for NASA that would apply to all future crewed spacecraft.

1. Conduct ATD dynamic tests to relate human and ATD responses.

2. Mine existing human injury and tolerance data and simulate dynamic environments using Finite Element (FE) models. Relate human injury and responses to ATD estimated responses from FE models.

3. Develop injury risk functions based on ATD responses and develop NASA standards from these functions.

Rationale for HRP Directed Research: This research is directed because NASA must define complete scientific activities in a short time and there is insufficient time to issue a solicitation.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The results of this study have a significant impact on terrestrial applications in the automotive and aviation safety communities. This study has access to unique and previously unpublished human impact exposure data, which allows new insight into human tolerance to dynamic loads. This can have a direct benefit on future protection systems in automobiles and aircraft.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2014 
Task Progress: Several of the Specific Aims have been completed and several are in progress. Below are details on the work completed for each specific aim.

Specific Aim 1. Conduct Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD) dynamic tests to relate human and ATD Responses

a. Conduct impact testing of the Test device for Human Occupant Restraint (THOR). This portion of the specific aim is complete. Testing of the THOR ATD was completed in January of 2013.

b. Mine existing human injury and tolerance data. This portion of the specific aim is ongoing. Several datasets have been mined and several more are in work. In addition, significant work has been accomplished to obtain the racing driver collision data from IndyCar.

c. Correlate THOR ATD responses to historical human responses under the same impact conditions. This specific aim is complete. The results of the study were recently published in the Stapp Car Crash Journal.

d. Develop a Finite Element (FE) model of the updated THOR ATD. This specific aim is complete. The Test Device for Human Occupant Restraint (THOR) Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD) Finite Element (FE) model was updated in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The resulting model was then optimized using physical test data and validated with an alternate set of data.

Specific Aim 2. After mining existing human injury and tolerance data, simulate dynamic environments using Finite Element (FE) models.

a. Evaluate the accuracy of the model against the physical test data collected in Specific Aim 1. This specific aim is complete. Using a similar method used in Specific Aim 1c along with the data collected in Specific Aim 1a, the FE model was optimized and validated.

b. Model human exposure data collected from IndyCar, NASCAR, and military volunteer data. This specific aim is planned to be completed by the end of the project. Now that the FE THOR model is validated, additional seating configurations will be developed.

Specific Aim 3. Develop injury risk functions based on ATD responses and develop NASA standards from these functions.

This specific aim is expected to be completed at the end of the project.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 10/31/2019) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Putnam J, Somers J, Untaroiu C, Pellettiere J. "A Finite Element Model of the THOR-K Dummy for Aerospace and Aircraft Impact Simulations." Presentation at The Seventh Triennial International Fire & Cabin Safety Research Conference, Philadelphia, PA, December 2-5, 2013. (Federal Aviation Administration).

The Seventh Triennial International Fire & Cabin Safety Research Conference, Philadelphia, PA, December 2-5, 2013. (Federal Aviation Administration). https://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/2013Conference/files/Injury_Criteria_II/PutnamThor/PutnamThorPres.pdf ; accessed 2/8/2015. , Dec-2013

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Putnam JB, Somers JT, Untaroiu CD. "Development, calibration, and validation of a head-neck complex of THOR mod kit finite element model." Traffic Injury Prevention. 2014;15(8):844-54. Published online: 16 Jan 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15389588.2014.880886 ; PMID: 24433158 , Jan-2014
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Somers JT, Newby NJ, Lawrence C, Deweese RL, Moorcroft D, Phelps SE. "Investigation of the THOR anthropomorphic test device for predicting occupant injuries during spacecraft launch aborts and landing." Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. 2014:2(4). Published online: 17 March 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2014.00004 , Mar-2014
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Newby N, Somers JT, Caldwell EE, Perry C, Littell J, Gernhardt M. "Assessing biofidelity of the test device for human occupant restraint (THOR) against historic human volunteer data." Stapp Car Crash J. 2013 Nov;57:469-505. PubMed PMID: 24435742 , Nov-2013
NASA Technical Documents Somers J, Caldwell E, Newby N, Maher J, Gernhardt M, Untaroiu C, Putnam J. "Test Device for Human Occupant Restraint (THOR) Multi-Directional Biodynamic Response Testing." Houston, Tex.: NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, 2014. NASA Technical Memorandum NASA/TM-2014-217387. , Feb-2014
NASA Technical Documents Somers J, Scheuring R, Granderson B, Jones J, Newby N, Gernhardt M. "Defining NASA Risk Guidelines for Capsule-based Spacecraft Occupant Injuries Resulting from Launch, Abort, and Landing." Houston, Tex.: NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, 2014. NASA/TM-2014-217383. , Jan-2014
Project Title:  Occupant Protection Data Mining and Modeling Project Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2013 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 06/20/2012  
End Date: 06/30/2014  
Task Last Updated: 04/22/2013 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Gernhardt, Michael  Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  2101 NASA Parkway, Code ER 
EVA Physiology Laboratory / Advanced Exploration Systems 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: michael.l.gernhardt@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-244-0125  
Congressional District: 22 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Somers, Jeffrey  M.S. Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering Group 
Untaroiu, Costin  Ph.D. Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University 
Perry, Chris  Ph.D. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base 
Newby, Nathaniel  M.S. Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering Group 
Caldwell, Erin  Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering Group 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Directed Research 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Norsk, Peter  
Center Contact:  
Peter.norsk@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Occupant Protection:Risk of Injury from Dynamic Loads (Risk move from HHC to SHFH per IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) OP03:We do not know how load dynamics and sex differences affect injury risk in spaceflight conditions and how to mitigate the increased risk of injury (IRP Rev F)
Task Description: Current National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Occupant Protection standards and requirements are based on extrapolations of biodynamic models, which were based on human tests performed during pre-Space Shuttle human flight programs. In these tests, occupants were in different suit and seat configurations than are expected for the Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and Commercial Crew programs. As a result, there is limited statistical validity to the Occupant Protection standards. Furthermore, the current standards and requirements have not been validated in relevant spaceflight suit and seat configurations or expected loading conditions.

To address the limitations of the current NASA standards, this study will address the following two objectives: 1) Develop a Finite Element (FE) model of Test device for Human Occupant Restraint (THOR) Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD), and 2) Conduct data mining of existing human injury and response data using the THOR FE model.

In order to develop updated standards, adequate injury assessment tools must be chosen and developed. In the case of dynamic loads, the THOR ATD was chosen as the appropriate human surrogate. For the data mining portion of the task, re-creation of the conditions of each impact case is needed to determine injury risk. Since physical re-creation of each case is not feasible, a numerical model of the THOR ATD is desired. An existing THOR FE model will be refined and validated. To supplement available THOR ATD validation data, additional THOR ATD testing will be conducted at two facilities and ATD response data will be collected. The FE model responses will then be assessed against the physical ATD responses. Once the ATD model is validated, it can be used for the data mining portion of the study.

Because analogous space flight injury biomechanics data are very limited, data mining of other analogous environments will be used. These datasets are chosen as they have similarities with the landing environment expected in future vehicles. The existing human injury and response data from other sources include historical military volunteer testing, automotive Crash Injury Research Engineering Network (CIREN), IndyCar impacts, and NASCAR impacts. These data sources can allow better extrapolation of the ATD responses to off-nominal conditions above the nominal range that can safely be tested in humans. These elements will be used to develop injury risk functions for each of the injury metrics measured from the ATD. These risk functions would then be incorporated with the results of other Tasks to update the NASA standards.

Task Description:

The ultimate aim of this project is to develop Occupant Protection standards for NASA that would apply to all future crewed spacecraft.

1. Conduct ATD dynamic tests to relate human and ATD responses.

2. Mine existing human injury and tolerance data and simulate dynamic environments using Finite Element (FE) models. Relate human injury and responses to ATD estimated responses from FE models.

3. Develop injury risk functions based on ATD responses and develop NASA standards from these functions

Rationale for HRP Directed Research: This research is directed because NASA must define complete scientific activities in a short time and there is insufficient time to issue a solicitation.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: The results of this study have a significant impact on terrestrial applications in the automotive and aviation safety communities. This study has access to unique and previously unpublished human impact exposure data, which allows new insight into human tolerance to dynamic loads. This can have a direct benefit on future protection systems in automobiles and aircraft.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2013 
Task Progress: The ultimate aim of this project is to develop Occupant Protection standards for NASA that would apply to all future crewed spacecraft.

1. Conduct ATD dynamic tests to relate human and ATD responses.

2. Mine existing human injury and tolerance data and simulate dynamic environments using Finite Element (FE) models. Relate human injury and responses to ATD estimated responses from FE models.

3. Develop injury risk functions based on ATD responses and develop NASA standards from these functions:

1. Conduct ATD dynamic tests to relate human and ATD responses.

a. Conduct impact testing of the Test device for Human Occupant Restraint (THOR). There were some schedule delays related to borrowing the THOR ATD from NHTSA and also in coordinating with the test facility at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB). Testing was ultimately completed in January 2013. A total of 46 tests were conducted in collaboration with WPAFB, 28 tests more than the original 18 tests planned. These additional tests, in the –X orientation, allow for enhanced assessment of the THOR in dynamics similar to expected spaceflight conditions.

b. Mine existing human injury and tolerance data. The OP team received IRB approval of a de-identification protocol for IndyCar driver data in early October and subsequently received the de-identified dataset a few weeks later. Other datasets that have been received and analyzed this past year include additional data from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and NASCAR data previously obtained through a Space Act Agreement. The OP team is also in discussions with U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory personnel to obtain Naval Biodynamics Laboratory data collected over a 25 year period.

c. Correlate THOR ATD responses to historical human responses under the same impact conditions. This work started in January 2013 and is expected to complete in May 2013. An abstract describing the results was accepted by the Stapp Car Crash Conference and the results will be submitted to the Stapp Car Crash Journal in May 2013.

d. Develop a Finite Element (FE) model of the updated THOR ATD. Although an earlier version of the ATD (THOR-NT) was validated previously, the team is working to update the current ATD (THOR-K) in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Toyota, University of Virginia and the Partnership for Dummy Biomechanics (PDB). The OP team was specifically tasked with updates to the head and neck and the other collaborators have agreed to update other parts of the model. This work is expected to be completed in early May 2013.

2. After mining existing human injury and tolerance data, simulate dynamic environments using Finite Element (FE) models.

a. Evaluate the accuracy of the model against the physical test data collected in Specific Aim 1. Once an updated THOR FE model is completely assembled in May 2013, a model of the WPAFB configuration will be created to allow assessment of the FE model against the physical test data collected in Specific Aim 1. This work is expected to be completed by the end of October 2013.

b. Model human exposure data collected from IndyCar, NASCAR, and military volunteer data. Simulations of injury and non-injury cases will be conducted. These simulations will be driven by the dynamics recorded onboard the vehicle or sled. This allows estimates of the responses of the humans exposed to the same conditions. This work is expected to be completed by June 2013.

3. Develop injury risk functions based on ATD responses and develop NASA standards from these functions. Using the estimated responses from Specific Aim 2, statistical models will be developed to relate the responses to injury outcomes. The resulting statistical models will allow estimates of injury risk related to the THOR response parameters. Using these injury risk functions, Injury Assessment Reference Values (IARVs) can be determined for off-nominal conditions for future spacecraft. This work is planned for completion by study end (late June 2014), but it is possible that a small extension of the study may be required due to limitations in personnel availability to complete the work.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 10/31/2019) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Newby N, Somers J, Caldwell E, Perry C, Littell J, Gernhardt M. "Assessing Biofidelity of the Test Device for Human Occupant Restraint (THOR-K) Against Historic Human Data." 57th Stapp Car Crash Conference, Orlando, FL, November 11-13, 2013.

Stapp Car Crash Journal. Abstract submitted, April 2013. , Apr-2013

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Somers J, Gernhardt M, Caldwell E, Newby N. "Assessing the Risk of Crew Injury Due to Dynamic Loads During Spaceflight." 2013 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-14, 2013.

2013 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-14, 2013 , Feb-2013

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Caldwell E, Somers J, Newby N, Gernhardt M. "Investigation of the THOR Anthropomorphic Test Device for Predicting Injury to Crewmembers During Landing Impact." 2013 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-14, 2013.

2013 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-14, 2013. , Feb-2013

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Newby N, Somers J, Caldwell E, Gernhardt M. "A Novel Approach for Defining a NASA Risk Posture for Occupant Injuries from Spacecraft Launch, Abort, and Landing." 2013 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-14, 2013.

2013 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-14, 2013. , Feb-2013

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Somers JT. "Correlation of Hybrid III Numerical Models with Physical ATD Responses in Various Loading Directions." 2013 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-14, 2013.

2013 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-14, 2013. , Feb-2013

Project Title:  Occupant Protection Data Mining and Modeling Project Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2012 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 06/20/2012  
End Date: 06/30/2014  
Task Last Updated: 08/14/2012 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Gernhardt, Michael  Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  2101 NASA Parkway, Code ER 
EVA Physiology Laboratory / Advanced Exploration Systems 
Houston , TX 77058 
Email: michael.l.gernhardt@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-244-0125  
Congressional District: 22 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Somers, Jeffrey  Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering Group 
Untaroiu, Costin  Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University 
Perry, Chris  Wright-Patterson Air Force Base 
Newby, Nathaniel  Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering Group 
Caldwell, Erin  Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering Group 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Directed Research 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Norsk, Peter  
Center Contact:  
Peter.norsk@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
No. of Post Docs:  
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Human Research Program Elements: (1) SHFH:Space Human Factors & Habitability (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Occupant Protection:Risk of Injury from Dynamic Loads (Risk move from HHC to SHFH per IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) OP03:We do not know how load dynamics and sex differences affect injury risk in spaceflight conditions and how to mitigate the increased risk of injury (IRP Rev F)
Task Description: Current National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Occupant Protection standards and requirements are based on extrapolations of biodynamic models, which were based on human tests performed during pre-Space Shuttle human flight programs. In these tests, occupants were in different suit and seat configurations than are expected for the Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and Commercial Crew programs. As a result, there is limited statistical validity to the Occupant Protection standards. Furthermore, the current standards and requirements have not been validated in relevant spaceflight suit and seat configurations or expected loading conditions.

To address the limitations of the current NASA standards, this study will address the following two objectives: 1) Develop a Finite Element (FE) model of Test device for Human Occupant Restraint (THOR) Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD), and 2) Conduct data mining of existing human injury and response data using the THOR FE model.

In order to develop updated standards, adequate injury assessment tools must be chosen and developed. In the case of dynamic loads, the THOR ATD was chosen as the appropriate human surrogate. For the data mining portion of the task, re-creation of the conditions of each impact case is needed to determine injury risk. Since physical re-creation of each case is not feasible, a numerical model of the THOR ATD is desired. An existing THOR FE model will be refined and validated. To supplement available THOR ATD validation data, additional THOR ATD testing will be conducted at two facilities and ATD response data will be collected. The FE model responses will then be assessed against the physical ATD responses. Once the ATD model is validated, it can be used for the data mining portion of the study.

Because analogous space flight injury biomechanics data are very limited, data mining of other analogous environments will be used. These datasets are chosen as they have similarities with the landing environment expected in future vehicles. The existing human injury and response data from other sources include historical military volunteer testing, automotive Crash Injury Research Engineering Network (CIREN), IndyCar impacts, and NASCAR impacts. These data sources can allow better extrapolation of the ATD responses to off-nominal conditions above the nominal range that can safely be tested in humans. These elements will be used to develop injury risk functions for each of the injury metrics measured from the ATD. These risk functions would then be incorporated with the results of other Tasks to update the NASA standards.

Task Description:

The ultimate aim of this project is to develop Occupant Protection standards for NASA that would apply to all future crewed spacecraft.

1. Conduct ATD dynamic tests to relate human and ATD responses.

2. Mine existing human injury and tolerance data and simulate dynamic environments using Finite Element (FE) models. Relate human injury and responses to ATD estimated responses from FE models.

3. Develop injury risk functions based on ATD responses and develop NASA standards from these functions

Rationale for HRP Directed Research: This research is directed because NASA must define complete scientific activities in a short time and there is insufficient time to issue a solicitation.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: 0

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2012 
Task Progress: New project for FY2012.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 10/31/2019) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2012