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 www.dtsweb.com

SAE International Honors DTS Director Steve Moss

SAE International Honors DTS Director Steve Moss

Diversified Technical Systems (DTS) is proud to announce that SAE International has honored Steve Moss – DTS Director of ATD Systems – with the 2017 James M. Crawford Technical Standards Board Outstanding Achievement Award.

The award recognizes individuals for outstanding service in the technical committee activities of the Society. This includes valuable contributions to the work of SAE International technical committees, unusual leadership in the activities of an SAE International technical committee, significant contributions as a representative of the Society to the accomplishments of technical committees of other organizations or of government agencies, and outstanding contributions to SAE International technical committee work in the form of research, test methods and procedures, and/or development of standards.

The James M. Crawford Fund was established in 1953 and honors James Crawford, who was SAE International President in 1945. In 2013, the award previously known as the Technical Standards Board Outstanding Achievement Award, was renamed the James M. Crawford Technical Standards Board Outstanding Achievement Award.

 Mr. Moss was born and educated in the United Kingdom and received a BSME from University of Hertfordshire in 1977. He worked as an automotive engineer at Rover UK, and GM and Ford in Detroit in the occupant safety and crash test and analysis fields for 15 years. Mr. Moss was the Technical Director at First Technology Safety Systems (now Humanetics ATD) from 1995 to 2005 in charge of crash dummy development. He now works for DTS in the Novi, Michigan office and is in charge of the WIAMan underbody blast dummy development, a project for the U.S. Army. He is an active member of several SAE and ISO Standards Committees, including the Safety Test Instrumentation Standards Committee for over twenty years. Moss has previously received the SAE International Ralph H. Isbrandt Automotive Safety Engineering Award.

DTS & U.S. Army Celebrate WIAMan Test Lab

DTS & U.S. Army Celebrate WIAMan Test Lab

Seal Beach, CA (February 2017) – Nearly 100 DTS employees and several key U.S. Army personnel gathered for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new WIAMan ATD Lab located inside DTS headquarters in Seal Beach, California. The new lab is being used exclusively to support the design, development and testing of the first blast test dummy, officially called the Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin (WIAMan). DTS is the Prime Contractor to the U.S. Army for the WIAMan project, which is the first anthropomorphic test device (ATD) designed specifically to withstand underbody blasts (like IEDs). The goal of all WIAMAN testing is to advance soldier protection and improve military vehicle designs.

The new 3,000+ sq. ft. lab is furnished with state-of-the-art test equipment including an 11-foot drop tower used to simulate the vertical impact experienced by an occupant in a vehicle blast. A 5-point harness secures WIAMan in the drop tower seat while a 200g pulse simulates blast forces. Load cells in the seat measure five different load paths through the pelvis and femur to quantify potential spine and lower extremity injuries. A linear impactor performs iterative testing on lower leg and pelvis components, accelerating a 20kg impact mass to a velocity of 20 meters/sec. Analyzing gross motor movement in slow motion helps engineers better understand the forces soldiers experience in the field, so multiple high speed cameras capture the action at over 100,000 frames/second.

“The program provides a state-of-art test capability to assess potential skeletal injuries of Soldiers exposed to under-body blast,” said Fred Hughes, director of the WIAMan Engineering Office. “The manikin’s sophisticated biofidelity and robust sensor design provides an unmatched level of accuracy determining the potential effects of blast on Soldiers in new vehicle systems. The WIAMan effort is an example of outstanding collaboration among academia, industry, and the government.”

The WIAMan project is especially important because no human surrogate for blast testing exists today. Automotive crash test dummies have been used in the past, but they are built to withstand frontal and side impacts, not the vertical acceleration of an under-body blast. The multi-year project includes not only building the new ATD, but also a next generation in-dummy sensing and data acquisition solution that goes inside the dummy.

To measure potential skeletal injuries, WIAMan currently uses 146 channels of embedded data acquisition and sensors, but is designed to support up to 180 channels. The self-contained miniature data acquisition systems are distributed throughout the test manikin and include internal power and a variety of sensors. The data collected includes six degree of freedom of forces, moments, accelerations and angular velocities from sensors located along the pelvis, spine, tibia and foot/heal. The data WIAMan will measure has far reaching, life-saving implications not only in the development of safer military vehicles and tactical gear, but to families around the world.

For additional information and more WIAMan images visit www.dtsweb.com.

About DTS: Founded in 1990 by three crash test engineers, DTS data recorders and sensors are used worldwide in crash, blast and biomechanics testing by top automakers, aerospace and leading research facilities. The U.S. Army named a DTS helmet sensor as one of “The Greatest Inventions.” Inc. Magazine has named DTS three times as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. Based in Seal Beach, California DTS has technical centers in Michigan, Australia, China, Japan and the U.K.