National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
×

Review of
Department of Defense
Test Protocols for
Combat Helmets

Committee on Review of Test Protocols Used by the DoD to Test Combat Helmets

Board on Army Science and Technology

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
                                 OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
×

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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by Contract/Grant No. HQ0034-10-D-0003 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Defense. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
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COMMITTEE ON REVIEW OF TEST PROTOCOLS USED BY THE DOD TO TEST COMBAT HELMETS

VIJAYAN N. NAIR, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Chair

CHRISTINE ANDERSON-COOK, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico

CAMERON R. BASS, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

THOMAS F. BUDINGER (NAE/IOM), University of California, Berkeley

MICHAEL J. CUSHING, U.S. Army Evaluation Center (retired), Portland, Maine

ROBERT EASTERLING, Sandia National Laboratories (retired), Cedar Crest, New Mexico

RONALD D. FRICKER, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterrey, California

PETER N. FULLER, Cypress International, Springfield, Virginia

RAUL A. RADOVITZKY, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

ERNEST SEGLIE, Office of the Secretary of Defense (retired), Kensington, Maryland

Staff

BRUCE BRAUN, Director, Board on Army Science and Technology

NANCY T. SCHULTE, Study Director

DEANNA SPARGER, Program Administrative Coordinator

NIA D. JOHNSON, Senior Research Associate

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
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BOARD ON ARMY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

DAVID M. MADDOX, Independent Consultant, Arlington, Virginia, Chair

JEAN D. REED, Independent Consultant, Arlington, Virginia, Vice Chair

DUANE ADAMS, Independent Consultant, Arlington, Virginia

ILESANMI ADESIDA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

STEVEN W. BOUTELLE, CISCO Consulting Services, Herndon, Virginia

MARY E. BOYCE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

EDWARD C. BRADY, Strategic Perspectives, Inc., McLean, Virginia

W. PETER CHERRY, Independent Consultant, Ann Arbor, Michigan

EARL H. DOWELL, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

JULIA D. ERDLEY, Pennsylvania State University, State College

LESTER A. FOSTER, Electronic Warfare Associates, Herndon, Virginia

JAMES A. FREEBERSYSER, BBN Technology, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

PETER N. FULLER, Cypress International, Springfield, Virginia

W. HARVEY GRAY, Independent Consultant, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

JOHN J. HAMMOND, Independent Consultant, Fairfax, Virginia

RANDALL W. HILL, JR., University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, Playa Vista

JOHN W. HUTCHINSON, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

BRUCE D. JETTE, Synovision Solutions, LLC, Burke, Virginia

ROBIN L. KEESEE, Independent Consultant, Fairfax, Virginia

WILLIAM L. MELVIN, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Smyrna

WALTER F. MORRISON, Independent Consultant, Alexandria, Virginia

ROBIN MURPHY, Texas A&M University, College Station

SCOTT PARAZYNSKI, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston

RICHARD R. PAUL, Independent Consultant, Bellevue, Washington

DANIEL PODOLSKY, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas

LEON E. SALOMON, Independent Consultant, Gulfport, Florida

ALBERT A. SCIARRETTA, CNS Technologies, Inc., Springfield, Virginia

JONATHAN M. SMITH, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

DAVID A. TIRRELL, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

MICHAEL A. VANE, DynCorp International, Lorton, Virginia

JOSEPH YAKOVAC, JVM LLC, Hampton, Virginia

Staff

BRUCE A. BRAUN, Director

CHRIS JONES, Financial Manager

DEANNA P. SPARGER, Program Administrative Coordinator

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
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Preface

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) wrote to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in June 2012 to express her concerns that the new protocol for testing Advanced Combat Helmets (ACHs) posed “an unacceptably high risk” for such protective equipment. In responding to Rep. Slaughter, Dr. Michael Gilmore, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) of the Department of Defense (DoD), indicated that he had requested the National Academies’ National Research Council (NRC) to conduct an independent review of DOT&E’s test protocols. The Committee on Review of Test Protocols Used by the DoD to Test Combat Helmets was formed to conduct this review. This report is the result of that study.

The committee held six meetings, including a site visit to the combat helmet test range at the Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland. It received presentations from some two dozen entities, including offices within the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the Special Operations Forces; the Institute for Defense Analysis; DOT&E; manufacturers of combat helmets; and the Office of the DoD Inspector General. The committee appreciates the assistance offered by Chris Moosmann, a staff member in the DOT&E Office of Live Fire Test and Evaluation, in the course of its deliberations. The study was conducted under the auspices of the NRC Board on Army Science and Technology (BAST). The committee appreciates the assistance of Bruce A. Braun, director of BAST, and Nancy T. Schulte, study director, for their very effective support in the conduct of this study. It also offers its thanks to the BAST staff members who capably assisted in information-gathering activities, meeting and trip arrangements, and the production of this report; they include Nia D. Johnson, associate research assistant, and Deanna Sparger, senior program assistant.

Finally, and most importantly, I want to express my appreciation to my fellow committee members for all of their work in developing the findings and recommendations and in preparing the report. This was an especially collegial group of experts, and I learned a lot from interacting with them. Rob Easterling and Ernest Seglie, two of the committee members, deserve special mention for their contributions as part of the editorial team. I am also grateful to Naveen Narisetty at the University of Michigan for his work on the numerical studies to examine the robustness properties of test plans.

Vijay Nair, Chair                                        
Committee on Review of Test Protocols   
Used by the DoD to Test Combat Helmets

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Acknowledgments

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Gordon R. England, NAE, E6 Partners LLC,

Karen Kafadar, Indiana University,

Harvey S. Levin, Baylor College of Medicine,

William Q. Meeker, Jr., Iowa State University,

James R. Moran, The Boeing Company,

John E. Rolph, University of Southern California, and

Dean L. Sicking, The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by James O. Berger, NAS, Duke University. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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6   FIRST ARTICLE TESTING PROTOCOLS FOR RESISTANCE TO PENETRATION: STATISTICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND EVALUATION OF DOD TEST PLANS

6.0   Summary

6.1   Introduction

6.2   Statistical Considerations in Designing Test Plans for Resistance to Penetration

6.3   Statistical Evaluation of DoD Protocols for Resistance to Penetration

6.4   Examination of Separate Test Plans by Helmet Size

6.5   Post-Test Analysis

6.6   Future Test Protocols: Helmet as the Unit of Test

6.7   References

7   TEST PROTOCOLS FOR BACKFACE DEFORMATION: STATISTICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND ASSESSMENT

7.0   Summary

7.1   Introduction

7.2   Backface Deformation First Article Acceptance Testing Protocols and Their Properties

7.3   Discussion

8   LOT ACCEPTANCE TESTING

8.0   Summary

8.1   Introduction

8.2   Lot Acceptance Testing Protocols

8.3   Evaluating Performance: Comparison of Operating Characteristic Curves

8.4   ANSI Standard and the Acceptance Quality Limit

8.5   Using the Helmet as the Unit of Testing

8.6   References

9   CHARACTERIZATION TESTS FOR THE ADVANCED COMBAT HELMET AND FUTURE HELMETS

9.0   Summary

9.1   Introduction

9.2   Characterization of the Advanced Combat Helmet Using Existing Test Data

9.3   Expanded Characterization Requiring Additional Data

9.4   V50 Testing

9.5   Comparison with Industrial Practices

9.6   Concluding Remarks

9.7   References

10  LINKING HELMET PROTECTION TO BRAIN INJURY

10.0   Summary

10.1   Introduction

10.2   Brain Injuries

10.3   Head and Brain Injury Tolerances

10.4   Brain Tissue Injury: Experimental Results

10.5   Computational Modeling and Simulation

10.6   Mechanical and Constitutive Properties of Tissues

10.7   Conclusion

10.8   References

APPENDIXES

A   Study Origination Documents

B   Protocols for First Article and Lot Acceptance Testing

C   Committee Meetings and Data-Gathering Activities

D   Test Range Description and the Ballistic Testing Process

E   Synopsis of Brain Injury Detection Methods

F   Biographical Sketches of Committee Members

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
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Tables, Figures, and Box

TABLES

3-1

Broad Categories of Threats

3-2

Relative Body Surface Area and Distribution of Wounds by Body Region

3-3

Distribution of Wounds by Body Region in Operation Enduring Force (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq)

3-4

Percentage of Injuries from Gunshot Wounds and Explosions from Previous U.S. Wars

3-5

Distributions of Injury Causes by Body Region

3-6

Representative Standard-Issue Infantry Rifles and Ammunition for Selected Potential Adversaries

3-7

Representative Battlefield Threats/Impact Velocities

4-1

DOT&E First Article Testing Helmet Test Matrix for the Advanced Combat Helmet

5-1

Summary of Resistance to Penetration Test Data

8-1

Sample Sizes for the Army’s Historical Lot Acceptance Testing Protocol for a 9-mm RTP Shell

8-2

Helmet Lot Acceptance Testing Matrix

8-3

Helmet Shot Order Test Matrix for Aramid 9-mm

8-4

Subtest Acceptance Quality Limits (Approximate)

8-5

Sample Sizes per ANSI Standard ASQ Z1.4-2008 to Achieve an AQL of 0.4 Percent

8-6

Lot Acceptance Testing Helmet Sampling Rate as Specified in the Lightweight Advanced Combat Helmet Purchase Description

8-7

Switching Rules for Lot Sizes of 1,200 to 3,200 with Acceptance Quality Limit of 0.4

10-1

Categories of Brain Injuries

10-2

Brain Injury Criteria and Median Values for Concussion for Low-Rate Blunt Impact

FIGURES

S-1

Operating characteristic curves for the Army’s and the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation’s first article testing protocols for penetration

S-2

Further comparisons of the operating characteristic curves for the Army’s and the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation’s first article testing protocols for penetration

2-1

Evolution of helmets from World War I to present

2-2

Helmet multi-pad and four-point retention systems

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
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3-1

Typical timeline of blast, ballistic, blunt injuries compared to ergonomics-related injuries

3-2

(a) Traumatic brain injury (TBI) hospitalizations by source for battle injuries categorized by regions in Operation Enduring Force/Operation Iraqi Freedom. (b) TBI hospitalizations by combat/noncombat source

3-3

Sagittal headform specified in National Institute of Justice Penetration Standard

3-4

Long linear and depressed skull fractures from nonpenetrating helmet BFD in a human cadaveric model

3-5

Typical potential neck injury locations in adults from impact loading

3-6

Typical blunt brain trauma diagram

3-7

Energy limits for blunt impact injury assessment in AGARD AR-330

4-1

Clay time and temperature effects in the column drop test

4-2

Aberdeen Test Center headform

4-3

New Army “sized” headforms

4-4

Peepsite headforms: five headforms, one for each shot direction

5-1

Illustrative backface deformation (BFD) laser scan

5-2

Backface deformation (BFD) measurements by location for Data Set 1

5-3

Average backface deformation (BFD) as a function of stand-off for Data Set 1

5-4

Backface deformation (BFD) measurements by location for Data Set 2

5-5

Backface deformation (BFD) measurements by location for Data Set 3

5-6

Backface deformation (BFD) measurements by location and helmet size for Data Set 3

5-7

Backface deformation (BFD) measurements by location for Data Set 4

6-1

Operating characteristic (OC) curve for (c = 1, n = 40) test plan

6-2

Operating characteristic curves comparing 1-out-of-40 test plan with 0-out-of-40 and 1-out-of-70 test plans

6-3

Operating characteristic curves of (c = 1, n = 77) plan with the desired risks

6-4

Operating characteristic curve for the legacy (0, 20) test plan

6-5

Comparison of the operating characteristic curves for (0, 20) and (17, 240) plans

6-6

Comparison of the operating characteristic curves for (0, 20) and (5, 96) plans

6-7

Operating characteristic curves for the hybrid plan and comparison to others

6-8

Operating characteristic curves for three plans with n = 60

6-9

Comparison of helmet-level and shot-level test protocols

7-1

Operating characteristic curves for Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, backface deformation (BFD) protocol for the two groups of shot locations

7-2

The two operating characteristic (OC) curves in Figure 7-1 overlaid with the overall OC curve of the backface deformation (BFD) protocol

7-3

Comparison of the three operating characteristic curves in Figure 7-2 with that of the legacy (0, 20) plan

7-4

Operating characteristic curves for the two location groups for the Enhanced Combat Helmet

7-5

Operating characteristic curves for a single 48-shot plan and for five 48-shot plans

8-1

Operating characteristic curves for resistance to penetration for the three Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, protocols by lot sizes

8-2

Comparison of operating characteristic curves for the three Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) lot acceptance testing protocols (black, red, and green) with the Army’s Legacy first article testing (FAT) protocol (blue) and DOT&E’s FAT protocol (orange)

8-3

Comparison of operating characteristic curves for the three DOT&E lot acceptance testing protocols (black, red, and green) with an illustrative (1, 60) first article testing protocol (red)

8-4

Backface deformation (BFD) operating characteristic curves for the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) first article testing (FAT) protocol in blue, the original Army FAT protocol in black, and the DOT&E lot acceptance testing (LAT) protocols in red

8-5

Operating characteristic (OC) curves for the illustrative helmet-based lot acceptance testing (LAT) protocol in red compared to the OC curve for the combined resistance to penetration and backface deformation for the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) LAT protocol in blue

8-6

Switching rules from ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2008

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
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10-1

Linkages between the force of the impact, how the helmet attenuates it, and resulting brain injuries

10-2

Incidence of traumatic brain injury classified by severity for warfighters

10-3

(a) The University of Virginia’s Hybrid III head model used for laboratory simulations and measurements.

(b) Biokinetics headform variant of the Hybrid III headform for ballistic impact

10-4

Instrumented cadaver head

10-5

Thresholds for diffuse axonal injury based on nonhuman primate rotational acceleration experiments and scaling through computational modeling to human brain masses of 500 g (thick solid curve), 1,067 g (solid curve), and 1,400 g (dotted curve). Regions to the upper and right of each curve are regions of diffuse axonal injury

10-6

Left: The base of the human skull supports the bottom of the brain and the brain stem that descends through the large orifice in the center known as the foramen magnum. Right: Positron tomography of the uptake of ammonia-13N in the normal pituitary

10-7

Principal strains in simulated brain material from projectile-induced kinetic energy striking a helmet at two angles. Blue is 0 percent, green is 2 percent, and red is >4 percent

10-8

Computational simulations of the protective effect of the Advanced Combat Helmet (center column) and face shield (right column) show a significant attenuation of the transmitted pressure field when compared to the unprotected head (left column)

10-9

Experimental determination of brain shear modulus (magnitude of the complex shear modulus) showing wide variance of experimental results from different researchers

10-10

Dependence of shear strain on stress rate shows the importance of correct simulation of the shear stress rate in simulations

D-1a

The helmet test range at the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center

D-1b

Typical test range at set-up for helmet V0 testing

D-2

U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center headform

D-3

Packing the headform with clay and shaping the clay

D-4

U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center headform with clay

D-5

Test impact locations

D-6

Pad Configuration for V0 resistance to penetration testing for full cut style helmet (top) or the tactical cut style helmet (bottom)

D-7

Helmet mounted on a headform

D-8

Test frame and fixture

D-9

Example of headform showing a penetration as evidenced by the presence of projectile fragments in the clay

D-10

Witness plate headforms for hardware testing

D-11

V50 helmet test mount (left) and associated witness plate (right)

D-12

Headform showing indent in the clay as a result of helmet backface deformation

D-13

Faro® scanning laser instrument laser scan arm

D-14

Headform clay conditioning by analogy

D-15

Clay calibration test rig

D-16

Examples of helmet conditioning

E-1

Brain alterations shown on functional imaging without behavioral changes

E-2

Positron tomography image showing sites of inflammation using the tracer 11C-PK11195 with superposition of the positron emission tomography emission on a magnetic resonance imaging anatomical image

BOX

10-1

Glossary

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
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Acronyms and Abbreviations

ACH

advanced combat helmet (Army)

ANSI

American National Standards Institute

AQL

acceptance quality limit

ATC

U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center

ATD

anthropometric test device

BFD

backface deformation

BTD

ballistic transient deformation

DAI

diffuse axonal injury

DCMA

Defense Contract Management Agency

DoD

Department of Defense

DOT

Department of Transportation

DOT&E

Director, Operational Test and Evaluation

DTI

diffusion tensor imaging

ECH

enhanced combat helmet

FAST

Future Assault Shell Technology

FAT

first article testing

FMJ

full metal jacket

FSP

fragment simulating projectile

GSW

gunshot wounds

HEaDS-UP

Helmet Electronics and Display System – Upgradeable Protection

HIC

head injury criteria

ICP

intracranial pressure

IED

improvised explosive device

IG

Inspector General

ISO

International Standards Organization

L

large

LAT

lot acceptance testing

LWH

lightweight helmet (Marine Corps)

M

medium

M&S

modeling and simulation

MICH

Modular Integrated Communications Helmet

MIL-STD

military standard

MRI

magnetic resonance imaging

mTBI

mild traumatic brain injury

NHTSA

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NIJ

National Institute of Justice

NIST

National Institute of Standards and Technology

NRC

National Research Council

OC

operating characteristic (curve)

OEF

Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)

OIF

Operation Iraqi Freedom

P

probability

PASGT

Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops

PEO-S

U.S. Army Program Executive Office Soldier

PET

positron emission tomography

P(nP)

probability of no penetration

Pr(pen)

probability of penetration

R&R

repeatability and reproducibility

RCC

right circular cylinder

RTP

resistance to penetration

S

small

SIMon

simulated injury monitor

TBI

traumatic brain injury

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
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UCB

upper confidence bound

UHMWPE

ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene

USSOCOM

United States Special Operations Command

UTL

upper tolerance limit

UVA

University of Virginia

WWII

World War II

XL

extra large

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18621.
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Combat helmets have evolved considerably over the years from those used in World War I to today's Advanced Combat Helmet. One of the key advances was the development of aramid fibers in the 1960s, which led to today's Kevlar-based helmets. The Department of Defense is continuing to invest in research to improve helmet performance, through better design and materials as well as better manufacturing processes.

Review of the Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets considers the technical issues relating to test protocols for military combat helmets. At the request of the DOD Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, this report evaluates the adequacy of the Advanced Combat Helmet test protocol for both first article testing and lot acceptance testing, including its use of the metrics of probability of no penetration and the upper tolerance limit (used to evaluate backface deformation). The report evaluates appropriate use of statistical techniques in gathering data; adequacy of current helmet testing procedures; procedures for the conduct of additional analysis of penetration and backface deformation data; and scope of characterization testing relative to the benefit of the information obtained.

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