Spinal Preload Piston Tests
Engineers and technicians at LME's Asheville and Annapolis locations have joined forces to design, produce, and test a Spinal Preload Piston (SPP). The SPP project is sponsored by the U.S. Air Force as a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) project. The SPP is being developed for potential use in USAF ACES-II ejection seats. The SPP consists of a small piston containing an explosive charge that operates at the start of the ejection seat sequence. The piston places a "preload" on the spine of the ejecting aircrew. This preload positions the spine of all aircrew from the 5% small female through the 95% large male for the remainder of the ejection sequence. The expectation is that the SPP will be capable of eliminating virtually all back injuries currently being sustained in ejection seats.
In November, 2000, the SPP successfully completed dynamic testing at the UPCO Hurricane Mesa Test Track in Utah. (See photos.) Those tests verified extensive computer modeling conducted during Phase I and Phase II of the SBIR.
Phase II of the SBIR is now complete. Sponsors are sought to continue with a USAF/LME Phase III SBIR effort which will complete static and dynamic testing of multiple production quality test articles. For further information contact:
Logistics Management Engineering, Inc.
1356 Cape Saint Claire Road
Annapolis, MD 21409 • 410.757.6319