Engineering Hall of Fame Inducts Mike Beckage

Engineering Hall of Fame Inducts Mike Beckage

Seal Beach, CA – (2019) – Mike Beckage, co-founder and CTO of Diversified Technical Systems, has been inducted into the Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering Hall of Fame. This prestigious honor recognizes outstanding accomplishments of distinguished engineers from the more than 25,000 alumni. Along with Beckage, nine other alumni were inducted in 2019.
Cal Poly Pomona’s ‘learn by doing’ paradigm became an essential component for Beckage as he earned a BS in Engineering Technology and began his career as an electronics technician at Mobility Systems & Equipment Company.
“I truly learned how to identify a problem, propose a viable solution and then carry the concept forward to fruition in an effective way,” he says. “Many of my classroom and lab experiences immediately made me a more valuable employee and led to an engineering position even before I graduated.”
Soon after graduating, Beckage was promoted to senior test engineer. At Mobility Systems he was responsible for all aspects of data collection and analysis of automotive safety tests performed for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In 1988 he moved on to Nissan Motor Corporation, where he served as an engineering specialist and was responsible for analyzing and reporting on potential safety or emission issues and corresponding with NHTSA and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Looking for his next career move, Beckage co-founded Diversified Technical Systems (DTS) in 1990, a high-tech company that engineers and manufactures miniature data acquisition systems for crash test, blast protection and product testing. Today Fortune 500 companies rely on DTS data recorders and sensors for critical testing in automotive, aerospace, military, defense, sports and injury biomechanics. Headquartered in Seal Beach, California, DTS has over 100 employees and offices in Michigan, France, Japan, China, Asia-Pacific and the United Kingdom.
With a passion for teaching, inspiring, and making a difference, Beckage says he still enjoys going to work each day. He likes the people and work, and values the fact that DTS products help advance human safety all around the world.
Proud to be recognized as one of the distinguished engineers whose achievements inspire future generations of engineers, Beckage had this to say, “If you study diligently, work hard, persevere and pay supreme attention to detail in everything you do, your education will take you far.”

DTS Co-Founders and CPP Alumni Share Their Success Story | Click on image above to watch the Cal Poly video shot at DTS headquarters featuring Mike and Tim.

Mike Beckage proudly wears the traditional Cal Poly Pomona green jacket in front of his honorary Hall of Fame portrait on display in the Cal Poly Pomona Engineering building. Beckage is pictured with his wife Bridget Spanier-Beckage (center) and sister Donna Beckage (right).

Award inducting Mike Beckage into the Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering Hall of Fame was presented March 20 at a black tie event at the Pacific Palms Resort.

SpaceX’s Ripley Mannequin Full of Sensors

SpaceX’s Ripley Mannequin Full of Sensors

Seal Beach, CA – (Mar. 2019) – Following the successful launch and return of the Crew Dragon capsule from the International Space Station (ISS), one of the next steps for SpaceX will be a detailed review of every aspect of the mission. That includes extensive analysis of data collected via Ripley, the HYBIII-50M Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD) that was one of the first official first “passengers.” According to SpaceX, Ripley was instrumented with 10 (of 30 available) critical sensors to capture head, neck and spine data. DTS sensors and data acquisition systems were onboard to measure loads and forces that future crew members may experience during launch, docking and splashdown. The Demo-1 data will be carefully analyzed to ensure the safety, comfort and reliability of space travel for future astronauts. Once SpaceX determines everything is mission-ready for Demo-2, this will include transporting a live crew of two NASA astronauts to the ISS.

Click on image above to watch SpaceX’s ‘Ripley’ Mannequin is Full of Sensors video

DTS Awarded SBIR Contracts to Advance US Air Force and NASA Flight Crew Safety

DTS Awarded SBIR Contracts to Advance US Air Force and NASA Flight Crew Safety

Seal Beach, CA – (Jan. 2019) – Diversified Technical Systems, Inc. (DTS) has been awarded two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)* Phase I contracts to develop miniature data acquisition systems for flight crew safety testing by both the US Air Force Research Lab and NASA. DTS was selected for each project based on their expertise in test and measurement solutions for crash, blast and injury biomechanics testing.
The DTS ‘blue boxes’ will be engineered to collect physical measurements including triaxial linear and angular acceleration for two very different applications. NASA’s focus is on low-level accelerations over extended time periods, while USAF testing is centered on short duration events. NASA’s Dynamic Kinematic Recorder (DKR), as it’s being called, will be used to measure vibration data that spaceflight crews may experience during launch and re-entry periods. The USAF Dynamic Impact Recorder (DIR) will measure more intense head and neck accelerations that pilots may be subjected to during ejection seat events.
How and where each unit will be mounted and powered are critical to the development process. With the goal of positioning the recorder as close as possible to the point of interest, which could be on or in a helmet, the real challenge for DTS design engineers becomes size, mass and center-of-gravity (CoG). DTS’ ultra-low power designs are significantly smaller and lighter than similar systems on the market. Each unit will feature six degree of freedom (6DOF) sensing and onboard memory, which means all data will be stored in place to non-volatile memory.
Phase 1 deliveries include working prototypes, which will be evaluated against key metrics to assess performance and accuracy of the units. The NASA DKR is scheduled to be complete in January 2019 and the USAF DIR is scheduled for April 2019. One or both may be followed by a Phase II SBIR, in which the concept design is then refined into a finished product.

DTS’s data acquisition systems and sensors are used for dynamic product and safety testing in a variety of industries. These systems embed directly in or on test articles near the point of interest, without long cable runs, slip rings or altering test dynamics.

DTS HQ – Principles of Dynamic Data Collection – Training Event Recap

DTS HQ – Principles of Dynamic Data Collection – Training Event Recap

| Principles of DAS Training Day, November 15, 2018

Over 50 customers and industry partners joined DTS for a special training event Principles of Dynamic Data Collection on November 15 at DTS headquarters in Seal Beach, California. The training featured a variety of speakers and topics designed to share practical knowledge with anyone involved in dynamic testing. The day kicked off with a session presented by Mike Beckage, DTS CTO and co-founder, focused on data acquisition best practices. Fundamental topics including sensor theory, limitations, grounding & shielding and shunt & empirical checks kept the audience engaged and asking questions, whether they were seasoned test professionals or new to the industry.

The audience also included a select group of engineering and injury biomechanics students from Cal State Los Angeles (CSULA). “It was great to have students attend our training day  . . .  especially at a time when critical thinking, education and exposure to real-world solutions are so important,” said Beckage.

DTS developed this exclusive seminar based on sharing practical field knowledge and best practices learned over years of helping customers solve both common and unique challenges. “DTS decided to put our years of experience to work and share our knowledge. There’s no school that teaches this, even though mastering these skills are key to anyone who does test data collection,” added Steve Pruitt, DTS CEO and co-founder.

The afternoon sessions were divided into two different industry topics. Track A focused on Injury Biomechanics & Automotive Crash Safety and was led by Steve Moss, DTS Director of ATD Systems. With his extensive industry experience, Moss shared the history of crash test dummies, officially called anthropomorphic test devices (ATD), why in-dummy DAS is important and the development of WIAMan, the first instrumented blast test ATD developed by DTS for the U.S. Army. Track B focused on Aerospace & Industrial applications, new DTS data acquisition systems engineered to support time and synchronization, streaming capabilities, IEEE 1588 and more.

The day wrapped up with tours of the offices which showcased DTS’s in-house engineering, software, firmware, manufacturing and QA capabilities – all of which are based at the Seal Beach headquarters.

New Helmet Testing Hits Hard at Improving Safety

New Helmet Testing Hits Hard at Improving Safety

New ways of testing and analyzing football head injuries caused by helmet-to-helmet hits is approaching a touchdown.  The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) Department of Mechanical Engineering is developing new testing methodologies using crash test dummies to improve helmet testing and ultimately reduce concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

While there are recorders that can be attached to the outside of a helmet to alert coaches and medical staff of possible concussions, these devices track helmet motion and generally do a poor job of tracking actual head motion. The UAB research team wants to improve the helmets themselves, starting with the testing process, so they are putting the sensors and recorders inside crash test dummy heads for even more biofidelic impact data.

UAB’s unique test facility recreates the collisions players experience on the field, based on analyzing hours and hours of game footage. An 80-foot railed track with a motorized sled recreates actual impacts using two crash dummies geared up in protective football equipment. Initially the dummies were wired up to exterior data acquisition systems, but there were issues with tangled cables that restricted free-flight test dynamics. The solution: miniature DTS SLICE NANO data recorders plus triaxial linear accelerators and angular rate sensors that are embedded inside the dummy head – eliminating any trailing cables. The system records each collision, calculates the velocities of the players involved, the locations of impact on each player’s helmet and more. This data is critical to support UAB’s goal to identify helmets that best protect players from concussions, as well as encouraging the design of new, even safer helmets. The institution’s new partnership with VICIS, a helmet technology company, will aid that goal even further.

“Right now, there are no football helmet standards that specifically address concussions,” said Dean Sicking, Ph.D., professor in UAB’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.  “The DTS data recorders and sensors collect the relevant data that we need from replicated real-world hits in order to ascertain what kind of forces the hits cause.  Ultimately, we can gather enough data to see whether helmet A or helmet B performs better in protecting against concussions.”

UAB looked to Diversified Technical Systems (DTS) for their expertise in biomechanics and occupant safety testing. The California-based company is known for miniature, rugged data recorders and sensors used for crash, blast and safety testing worldwide. DTS designed the first in-dummy data acquisition system (DAS) for the WorldSID, a side impact dummy developed and used in automotive regulatory testing.  Most recently, DTS completed building  the first military blast test dummy (WIAMan) for the U.S. Army with next generation data recorders and sensors inside. This breakthrough of moving data recorders inside the test dummies has significantly changed the face of safety testing by improving the fidelity of the data and the efficiency of the test set-up.

“DTS systems are so small that they really are a game-changer in this important work of improving player safety,” says Hans Hellsund, Director of Sales for DTS. “For over 26 years our technology has been focused on helping keep people safer, whether it’s with auto manufacturers, aerospace testing, or soldier protection,” adds Hellsund.

WIAMan Blast Dummy Joins U.S. Army

WIAMan Blast Dummy Joins U.S. Army

Steve Pruitt (right), president and CEO of Diversified Technical Systems, Inc., presents Fred Hughes (left), director of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin Engineering Office, with a verified copy of the WIAMan technical data package at a ceremony held at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, May 31. (U.S. Army photo)

Army program completes, delivers technical data package for newest test manikin


ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (June 2018) – The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Army Research Laboratory’s Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin, or WIAMan, Engineering Office delivered the WIAMan Generation 1 manikin technical data package to representatives of the U.S. Army Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation located in Orlando, Florida,during a ceremony held at APG May 31.The WIAMan Gen 1 is the world’s first test manikin that is purpose-built for military use in underbody blast testing of ground vehicles in live-fire test and evaluation.In accordance with the Army-approved schedule for transition of the WIAMan program from ARL to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), the on-time delivery of the package, which includes drawings, specifications and manuals for the test manikin, marks the start of the formal handover of management of the WIAMan program from the science and technology community to the material developer.

For information, contact Joyce M. Conant, U.S. Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs Officejoyce.m.conant2.civ@mail.milOffice (410) 278-8603 Mobile (443) 221-9801Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005“Accelerating innovative technologies from government, industry and academia to the warfighter is paramount to maintaining overmatch for the Army in future conflicts,” said Fred Hughes, director of the WIAMan Engineering Office.“Success for ARL is defined by the timely and expedited transition of intellectual property from the S&T community to the material developer to push new capabilities into the field sooner.”WIAMan is a tremendous example of the synergy generated by outcome-based research with deliverable products and similar to the current Army cross functional teams, he said.“The WIAMan team integrated representatives of the S&T, program management and testing communities, along with industry and academic partners to collaboratively develop and transition a game-changing technology to improve injury assessment capabilities to ASA(ALT),” Hughes said.“ARL is bridging the ‘Valley of Death’ and rapidly transitioning technology to the testing and analysis community to ensure future combat vehicles are more survivable for our warfighters.”Diversified Technical Systems, Inc., the program’s prime contractor, delivered the TDP to the Army’s WIAMan Engineering Office April 30.The team initiated an aggressive four-week effort to verify the package, working with representatives from the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center to ensure it was correct and ready for transition to PEO STRI.

“The cooperation between government and industry has been a model of how a complex development program can be completed on an expedited schedule, within budget,” said Steve Pruitt, DTS President and CEO. “Starting from a concept technical data package in early 2015 to delivery of four WIAMan Gen 1 manikins in less than three years is a remarkable achievement.”Pruitt said WIAMan will significantly increase the Army’s capability to assess probably of injury to warfighters in a wide range of underbody blast events—saving lives and reducing injuries by helping the Army and industry to design vehicles that best protect them. According to Hughes, the WIAMan package is a key delivery to the material developer for the continued development and production of WIAMan manikins to support the upcoming armored multi-purpose vehicle under-body blast testing in fiscal 2020.“Maintaining our technological advantage in warfare is found in dogged scientific advancements and decisive programs that are steadfast in its pursuit,” said Col.Scott McIntosh, PEO STRI Joint Project Manager Medical Modeling and Simulation.“None are more crucial than those that underpin the survivability of our warfighters.”He said the collaborative work between the WIAMan Engineering Office and JPM MMS embodies this determination to save lives.

“Our two offices’ shared commitment to the program’s purpose combined with an innovative strategy with our industry partners has provided the DOD a cutting-edge test capability that is irreplaceable,”McIntosh said.“Our work illustrates that when the entire process is agreeably focused on the problem set, challenges can be quickly surmounted. Our work will be used for decades to support force wide modernization efforts and evaluate threats to our service members.”The formal transition of the management of the manikin from ARL to PEO STRI culminated in a technology readiness level 6 live-fire test demonstration held at APGJune 13.Army S&T laboratories will continue to execute additional critical elements of the effort, to include ongoing biomechanical research and development of a virtual WIAMan finite element model.

For more information on DTS data acquisition systems, data loggers or sensors, visit