The Army's Developing a Crash Test Dummy to Measure Explosive Shockwaves

The automotive industry has developed some of the most sophisticated crash test dummies in the world for testing and improving a vehicle’s ability to protect its passengers in the event of an accident. However, when that vehicle is designed to protect its passengers from explosions, the U.S. Military decided it needed a crash test dummy better suited to measuring the effects of those powerful shockwaves.

So the U.S. Army has turned to a company called Diversified Technical Systems to help develop the WIAMan—or Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin—that is able to better measure how an explosion from an improvised explosive device outside a vehicle, affects those riding inside.


The WIAMan dummy will look a lot like its automotive cousins, except that while they’re designed to measure the forces from a front or side impact, the Army’s newest recruit will instead be able to determine how the shockwaves from an underbody blast—or UBB as the military calls them—will affect a soldier internally. Including damage to organs and even broken bones.


The heart of the new crash test dummies will be newly developed technologies based on DTS’ 6DX PRO/ARS3 PRO and SLICE sensors which use accelerometers and angular sensors to measure extreme G-forces during an event. The 6DX PRO is already small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but DTS will be further refining and advancing the technology it relies on so that the new WIAMan dummies can be used for testing everything from improved armor for vehicles, to better shock-absorbing seats, to even improved uniforms for soldiers to help them survive an explosive attack. [Diversified Technical Systems via Gizmag]

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