Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) System Crew Shock Loading, Evaluation of Potential Head and Neck Injury

Report No. ARL-TR-4228
Authors: Michael E. LaFiandra and Harry Zywiol
Date/Pages: August 2007; 75 pages
Abstract: The Future Combat Systems (FCS) non-line of sight cannon (NLOS-C) is an artillery weapon that will use a 155-mm cannon that can fire as far as 35 km and will be capable of automatically firing and reloading ammunition, as many as six rounds per minute. The goal of this project was to quantify the effects of weapon fire recoil on a surrogate human occupant of the NLOS-C. In March and April 2004, the Tank-Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) ride motion simulator (RMS) was used to simulate the effects of gun firing shock on a Hybrid III instrumented anthropometric test device (ATD) capable of measuring head acceleration, neck force and torque. The RMS simulated firing scenarios that ranged from 0 to 15 degrees of azimuth and 0 to 30 degrees of elevation and included two different harness types (3 point or 5 point) and two seat heights (normal and raised 3 inches). The raw data for this project were collected by TARDECs Motion Base Technologies Team and their contractors. The data were sent to the U.S. Army Research Laboratorys (ARL) Human Research Engineering Directorate for analysis. Biomechanics researchers at ARL were tasked with relating the neck force and torque and head accelerations to established injury criteria for the neck and head. Data from the Hybrid III ATD were compared to the standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Based on the standards used by NHTSA, the acceleration of the head and the forces and torques experienced by the neck of the occupant of an NLOS-C during weapon firing are less than the injury criteria for the 50th percentile male. Resulting probability of injury rates were nearly zero for head injuries but were as high as about 0.147 (14.7%) for moderate neck injuries and as high as 0.029 (2.9%) for critical neck injuries. The established injury criteria do not account for possible cumulative effects of the repeated impulses of weapon firing (as many as six rounds per minute), so the actual probability for neck injury may be greater than reported here. At the time this report was written, a standard for multiple impulse events had not been established.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2007