As part of several historic 'firsts' coming to fruition, Diversified Technical Systems (DTS) delivered four WIAMan Gen1 blast test manikins to the US Army Research Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM). This milestone delivery marks the beginning of the validation phase, which will include live fire testing to confirm WIAMan's readiness prior to its transition out of the development phase in 2018.
DTS is the Prime Contractor to the US Army on WIAMan, which is the first Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD) designed specifically to withstand underbody explosive blasts.
The goal of the project, officially called the Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin (WIAMan), is to advance soldier protection by improving military vehicle designs using sophisticated injury prediction algorithms which had not been previously available.
The multi-year programme includes defining injury assessment criteria, blast research, and DTS's key role of developing a new test dummy with miniature data recorders and sensors embedded throughout. The ultra small DTS SLICE6 data recorders and nearly 150 sensors are strategically positioned throughout WIAMan and are capable of recording 400,000 data points per second to measure and quantify potential skeletal injuries.
"There are not many times in life that you can say you are the first in history to do something,'" said Fred Hughes, Director of WIAMan Engineering at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
"We have understood what happens to a vehicle during an underbody blast events, but, for the first time, WIAMan lets us know accurately what's going on with the soldiers inside the vehicle."
Since the WIAMan project launched in February 2015, 3D models and two instrumented Technical Demonstrators have undergone grueling lab tests and 'ride-alongs' in the field prior to the manufacture of the Gen1 units.
Upon delivery of the Gen1 systems, the WIAMan will be subject to live fire tests and durability evaluations.
Upon completion of the programme, WIAMan test data will be used to help develop new safer ground vehicles, including components like seats, interiors and protective armor.
WIAMan has been the result of an intense and successful collaboration between industry, academia, government, and the US Army.
"It was the combined experience and 'out of the box' thinking of this group that enabled delivery of such a ground-breaking test dummy," said Steve Pruitt, DTS President and CEO.
"There is no question WIAMan will play an important part in advancing soldier safety and DTS is proud of role we played to make it happen."