NFL-Funded Lab Building a Safer Football Helmet

NFL-Funded Lab Building a Safer Football Helmet

NFL-Funded Lab Building a Safer Football Helmet
DTS DDR for Helmet Safety TestingDTS DDR for Helmet Safety Testing
DTS DDR for Helmet Safety TestingDTS DDR for Helmet Safety Testing

December 2, 2021

A recent NBC News Exclusive with Lindsey Reiser went inside Biocore, a company based in Charlottesville, VA, to take a look at an NFL-funded project to build a better football helmet.

Biocore, is leading the way to improve player safety. by mapping out every concussion impact in the league, in order to recreate the impacts that happen on the field during play, inside the lab. After reviewing all the game footage, impact locations are noted, and that specific impact is then reproduced. Equipment including DTS’ SLICE NANO data recorder, ARS PRO angular rate sensor, 6DX PRO six-degrees-of-freedom sensor and the DDR (Dynamic Data Recorder) are used to measure the impact forces that a player may experience.

Concussions and head injuries have been a risk inherent in many sports. According to the reporting, in 2019 there were more than 220 diagnosed concussions in the league. In addition to the fact that repeated head injuries can lead to issues such as CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), a degenerative brain disease found in athletes, or anyone who experiences repetitive brain trauma.

Reducing concussions and head injuries is a priority for the NFL. Jeff Miller, NFL executive vice president for health and safety, comments, “There is no finish line when it comes to the health and safety of our sports, specifically around concussions.” One of the goals of the Biocore project is to develop position-specific helmets to help protect against the types of collisions that are often associated with different team positions.

The DTS DDR is an ultra-lightweight, low power flexible data logger that can be embedded inside a helmet or mouthguard, making it ideal for collecting field data. The standalone DDR features six-degrees-of-freedom sensors that measure linear and angular acceleration, to capture the full rotation involved in helmet-to-helmet and helmet-to-ground impacts. The data helps quantify the different impact forces, which in turn helps in the design of a safer helmet.

DTS is proud that our technology contributes to designing safer football helmets to help reduce the risk of NFL player concussions and head injuries.

DTS DDR Data Logger - DDR Control Software for Helmet Safety Testing

SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS — All of the DTS software packages include an easy-to-use interface for set-up, control, viewing and data export.
 

DTS DDR - Helmet Safety Testing

PIONEERS IN SAFETY — With roots in automotive crash testing, DTS data acquisition systems and sensors have been used for injury biomechanics and occupant safety testing for over three decades.

DTS DDR Data Logger - DDR Control Software for Helmet Safety Testing

SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS — All of the DTS software packages include an easy-to-use interface for set-up, control, viewing and data export.

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DTS Space Applications SAFE Association Presentation Invitation
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November 18, 2021

SPACE APPLICATIONS
Presented By: Mike Beckage Co-Founder & CTO of Diversified Technical Systems (DTS)

Meeting, Product Introduction & Facility Tour
Join us for drinks in Old Town Seal Beach following the event

December 2, 2021
4:00pm – 5:30pm at DTS
1720 Apollo Court, Seal Beach, CA 90740
RSVP to info@dtsweb.com
(Appreciated by not required)

For over 25 years, we have been a corporate member of the SAFE Association and supported this community through presentations and informational gatherings throughout Southern California.  I am pleased to announce that all are welcome to an upcoming presentation by one of our founding members, Mike Beckage, on December 2nd starting at 4 pm at our manufacturing site located at 1720 Apollo Court, Seal Beach CA 90740.  The presentation “Space Applications: Cool and Interesting ways DTS is impacting scientific investigations” will highlight several applications in space travel where DTS products have played an important role in advancing scientific research and human safety in space missions.

DTS is a member of the local SAFE Chapter One organization.  The SAFE Association focuses on safety within the transportation industry and has several regional chapters across the globe.   www.safeassociation.com

Everyone is welcome to attend this FREE in-person meeting.   If you choose to become a member, a $10 dues fee will be collected allowing access to a full year of meetings, informational sessions and events.

Kirsten Larsen, SAFE Chapter One President

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Full-Scale Nuclear Transporter Crash Test

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Full-Scale Nuclear Transporter Crash Test
Sandia Full Scale Crash Test
Sandia Full Scale Crash Test

November 2, 2021

Successful crash test meets major milestone for nuclear deterrence program
Article Written By: Manette Newbold Fisher /
Sandia Lab News Vol. 72, No. 20, October 9, 2020

A full-scale crash test involving a semitruck impacting the side of the first prototype of a new weapons transporter successfully took place at Sandia this summer.

Using the Labs’ sled track, rockets propelled the semitractor-trailer at highway speeds into the prototype, an over-the-road Mobile Guardian Transporter conceptualized and built from scratch. Data from the event will be used for qualification of the transporter and to better understand cargo response in accident scenarios for years to come.

This test met a major milestone for NNSA as part of the Labs’ nuclear deterrence program, said Gary Laughlin, Sandia director over the program. Eventually, the new transporters will replace the current fleet of vehicles that safely and securely move nuclear assets within the United States.

“Completing this milestone is one example of Sandia’s dedication to the Office of Secure Transportation and the nuclear deterrence program,” Gary said. “Very creatively and with the help of many teams throughout Sandia, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories, we figured out how to build a new trailer and complete a test that was flawlessly executed.”

Biggest crash test in decades

Crash tests at this scale using transporter vehicles have not taken place at the Labs for about 20 years, said Jim Redmond, senior manager over the program, adding that Sandia has never executed a test quite like this one at full scale.

“About two decades ago, Sandia crashed a truck into an immovable barrier, but this is the first time we’ve done a test in this configuration, where we took a truck at full capacity and propelled it down the track and hit our test article sitting idly at the end of it,” Jim said. “In two decades, you can imagine how much technology has advanced in terms of our ability to measure responses of the trailer and its contents.”

One purpose of the crash test, said manager Daniel Wilcox, was to ensure the new fleet of semitrailer transporters will be able to keep cargo safe in the event of an unexpected crash.

Sandia’s primary mission is ensuring the U.S. nuclear arsenal is safe, secure and reliable. As part of that mission, and since the inception of nuclear deterrence, Sandia has played an important role in transportation, Jim said.

“The transportation mission is a critical component of an effective nuclear deterrent,” he said. “It provides needed assurance to the American public and our allies of the safety and security of our stockpile. You’ve got to be able to ship nuclear assets safely and securely or you don’t have a deterrence program.”

Starting ‘with a clean sheet of paper’

Sandia manager Barry Boughton was part of the team that worked on the previous fleet of transporters that have been in use since the 1990s. Following testing on additional prototypes in coming years, the current set of transporters will be replaced by the Mobile Guardian Transporter fleet, which is expected to be in service beyond 2050.

Barry said the transporter systems begin with demanding requirements that change with each fleet as technology and the operating environment evolve. From there, the design team begins creating a brand-new system.

“The Mobile Guardian Transporters are not an extension of the old trailers,” he said. “We started with a clean sheet of paper.”

Nearly everything that makes up the transporters is custom designed and built, with a few exceptions. It was a multiyear design effort to get to the point where Sandia could work with an external partner to build the road-ready trailer. Initially, the prototype didn’t have any electronics or finishing touches. Following the 13-month trailer build, the team worked for an additional six months assembling electronics before they began testing the prototype in normal and abnormal environments.

Normal environment tests included such activities as driving the transporter on the road while measuring shock and vibration response and exposing the vehicle to thermal cycling while measuring its response to various temperatures.

From January to June, the team prepped the vehicle for the crash test by setting up data-acquisition instrumentation and configuring and installing representative cargo. Setting up the channels was one of the most challenging technical aspects of test setup, said Kylen Johns, prototype project lead.

“We had a goal of gathering an unprecedented amount of data, realizing that it would be extremely difficult in such a harsh environment,” she said. “To reduce risk, we built in redundancy to the systems and included peer reviewers in every step of the preparation. We were crashing a semi into another semi, and protecting these super tiny, thin cables meant the difference between getting critical data or missing major objectives.”

During the test, more than 400 channels of data and video, including high-speed video, were collected, Jim said. Every sensor served a purpose and provided specific data that the team analyzes to make sure the transporter meets all requirements. The team will only build three prototypes, so every scrap of data is meaningful to the project.

Test day collaboration

The complexity of the setup required the multiorganization crash test execution team and other collaborating groups to remain “laser-focused” for months, Daniel said, to ensure the crash date wasn’t delayed, the test objectives were met and data wasn’t compromised.

The prototype was moved to the test site in June, where employees continued preparing for the crash in pandemic conditions, in the heat of the desert — running cables, fixing problems, soldering wires, setting up cameras, checking acquisitions systems and setting triggers.

On test day, final preparation started several hours before dawn. Around midday, the test execution team, transporter team members and stakeholders stood at a safe distance from the sled track and watched the crash take place. There was a lot of buildup to that point, Jim said, with the years-long effort resulting in a transporter assembly test that was over in a matter of seconds.

“I was glad to see the rockets fired; I was glad to see it was successful,” he said. “It was tense. The entire team, including partners from LANL and Lawrence Livermore, were excited and relieved. There’s a lot of pride among the team, as well as the government sponsors, that we are greatly increasing our understanding of accident environments.”

Karen Rogers, senior manager for Sandia’s validation and qualification team, oversees the group that designed and conducted the rocket-sled test. Karen praised the seamless collaboration between teams, saying, “We worked in partnership, and at times side-by-side, to create all the elements that led to this successful test. It was gratifying to see the results of that hard work and the teamwork that made it happen.”

Deadline met despite pandemic

Before the COVID-19 pandemic started to impact many Sandia operations in early March, activities were on track for the summer test, Daniel said. Threat of the virus understandably complicated work across the program, but the team came together to keep things moving forward toward the test.

“There was a feeling of, ‘What are the impacts of the pandemic on this test — and can we really do this?’” he said. “Even though the unexpected challenge of COVID-19 added significant complications to an already-complex test, the crash was executed on the precise day it was planned before the pandemic, with no delay.”

Because completing the test on time was critical to NNSA, much of the team continued working on site when about 70% of Labs employees started telecommuting in mid-March.

Sandia industrial health and Environment, Safety & Health professionals helped the team work effectively in close quarters by requiring masks, checking ventilation systems and advising on how to take turns inside the vehicle, Gary said. The team’s procedures set a standard for social distancing at the Labs.

“Years of effort from the entire team and our partners, punctuated by the final push in a COVID-impacted world, resulted in a successful test,” Daniel said. “We are delighted by and grateful for the effort of so many that led to such spectacular results.”

Sandia Full Scale Crash Test Photo

TRANSPORTER CRASH TEST — Using Sandia’s sled track, rockets propelled the semitractor-trailer at highway speeds into a prototype of an over-the-road Mobile Guardian Transporter conceptualized and built from scratch. (Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories)

Orion Space Capsule Drop Test DTS DAS onboard

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES — Sandia quality engineer Dulce Barrera, left, and systems engineer and team lead Kylen Johns coordinated with colleagues to mitigate the challenges caused by COVID-19 during preparation for a full-scale crash test that took place this summer. (Photo by Bret Latter)

Sandia Full Scale Crash Test Photo

TRANSPORTER CRASH TEST — Using Sandia’s sled track, rockets propelled the semitractor-trailer at highway speeds into a prototype of an over-the-road Mobile Guardian Transporter conceptualized and built from scratch. (Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories)

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New 6DOF In-Ear Exposure Sensors

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New 6DOF In-Ear Exposure Sensors
Warfighter In-Ear Exposure Sensors
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August 20, 2021

DTS In-Ear Exposure Sensors (IEES) Measure Blunt Impact & Blast Overpressure

As part of an SBIR contract through the Defense Health Agency, DTS is developing in-ear exposure sensors to help protect military personnel. DTS is proud to share the abstract we originally planned to present in-person at the 2021 Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS), which was unfortunately canceled this year due to the pandemic.

Detection and measurement of potential injury due to blast overpressure and blunt impact have been priorities of the US military for many years. The DTS groundbreaking
6DOF blast dosimeter is much smaller and more accurate than any other system. Testing has proven that the prototype is able to both recognize and capture blast even at <1psi, a range not often captured by other devices. This dosimeter device is powered by a hearing aid battery and weighs <3g and can be integrated with other protective equipment like helmets, footwear and tactical headsets while remaining unobtrusive to the wearer.

MHSRS is the Department of Defense’s premier scientific meeting that focuses specifically on the unique medical needs of the Warfighter. The annual educational symposium brings together healthcare professionals, researchers, and DoD leaders. The original DTS Abstract was titled Standardization of Blast and Unconventional Exposure Novel Injuries – Developmental Efforts of In-Ear Exposure Sensors.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more, please contact Kyvory Henderson: kyvory.henderson@dtsweb.com.

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DTS Named Best Place to Work for 2nd Year

DTS Named Best Place to Work for 2nd Year

DTS Named Best Place to Work for 2nd Year
DTS Best Place to Work 2nd Year
DTS Best Place to Work 2nd Year

July 6, 2021

For a second consecutive year Diversified Technical Systems (DTS), headquartered in Seal Beach, California, was named as one of the Best Places to Work in Orange County. The awards program was created over a decade ago and is a project of the Orange County Business Journal and Best Companies Group.

“Being recognized as one of Orange County’s Best Places to Work highlights the importance of each DTS employee. A customer-first attitude and creative collaboration has allowed us to develop innovative test and measurement solutions for our customers worldwide and have good time in the process,” said Rollin White, president of DTS.

DTS was named 11th in the medium-sized company category. The awards program works to identify and honor the best places of employment in Orange County, California, benefiting the county’s economy, its workforce and businesses. The two-part application process includes evaluating each employer’s workplace policies, practices and demographics, which is worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part is an extensive employee survey which measures the employee experience, and is worth 75% of the score.

This is the second year DTS applied to the awards program and is honored to be recognized again. Over the last 30 plus years DTS employees have helped develop a culture of teamwork, personal growth, and a positive environment with a family spirit. “Dedication to our customers, and to each other, is what makes DTS special,” added White.

About DTS: Diversified Technical Systems specializes in manufacturing miniature, rugged data acquisition systems and sensors for product and safety testing in extreme environments. DTS data recorders and sensors are used for testing in a variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, injury biomechanics, sports, military and defense. Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Seal Beach, California, DTS also has technical centers around the globe and is part of Vishay Precision Group, Inc. (NYSE: VPG).

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DTS Joins the VPG Family of Companies

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DTS Joins the VPG Family of Companies
DTS Webinar - DataPRO
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June 1, 2021

Today we are excited to announce that DTS is now a part of Vishay Precision Group, Inc. (NYSE: VPG), a leading producer of precision sensors and sensor-based systems.

DTS as a part of VPG will bring expanded opportunities to add integrated data acquisition and sensing to demanding measurement challenges. We believe that joining VPG will allow DTS to continue its mission of being the most trusted provider of measurement solutions in every market we serve.

About VPG

Vishay Precision Group, Inc., is an internationally recognized designer, manufacturer and marketer of: components based on its resistive foil technology; sensors; and sensor-based measurements systems specializing in the growing markets of stress, force, weight, pressure, and current measurements. VPG is a market leader of foil technology products, providing ongoing technology innovations in precision foil resistors and foil strain gages, which are the foundation of the company’s force sensors products and its weighing and control systems. The product portfolio consists of a variety of well-established brand names recognized for precision and quality in the marketplace. VPG’s shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol–VPG. To learn more, visit www.vpgsensors.com.

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