Effects of Lumbar Spine Assemblies and Body-Borne Equipment Mass on Anthropomorphic Test Device Responses during Drop Tests

Daniel Aggromito, Mark Jaffrey, Allen Chhor, Bernard Chen, Wenyi Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


When simulating or conducting land mine blast tests on armored vehicles to assess potential occupant injury, the preference is to use the Hybrid III anthropomorphic test device (ATD). In land blast events, neither the effect of body-borne equipment (BBE) on the ATD response nor the dynamic response index (DRI) is well understood. An experimental study was carried out using a drop tower test rig, with a rigid seat mounted on a carriage table undergoing average accelerations of 161 g and 232 g over 3 ms. A key aspect of the work looked at the various lumbar spine assemblies available for a Hybrid III ATD. These can result in different load cell orientations for the ATD which in turn can affect the load measurement in the vertical and horizontal planes. Thirty-two tests were carried out using two BBE mass conditions and three variations of ATDs. The latter were the Hybrid III with the curved (conventional) spine, the Hybrid III with the pedestrian (straight) spine, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Hybrid III which also has a straight spine. The results showed that the straight lumbar spine assemblies produced similar ATD responses in drop tower tests using a rigid seat. In contrast, the curved lumbar spine assembly generated a lower pelvis acceleration and a higher lumbar load than the straight lumbar spine assemblies. The maximum relative displacement of the lumbar spine occurred after the peak loading event, suggesting that the DRI is not suitable for assessing injury when the impact duration is short and an ATD is seated on a rigid seat on a drop tower. The peak vertical lumbar loads did not change with increasing BBE mass because the equipment mass effects did not become a factor during the peak loading event.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101004
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering-Transactions of the Asme
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • anthropomorphic test device
  • body-borne equipment
  • drop test
  • land mine blast
  • lumbar spine assemblies

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