Development of a Dynamic Biomechanical Model for Load Carriage: Phase IV Part C3: Dynamic Assessment of Pressure Measurement Systems for use in Human Load Carriage


  1. Fergenbaum, M.A.
  2. Hadcock, L.
  3. Stevenson, J.M.
  4. Bryant, J.T.
  5. Morin, E.
  6. Reid, S.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Queen's Univ, Kingston ONT (CAN) Ergonomics Research Group
Soldiers, who transport equipment by foot, experience dynamic pressures as a result of personal load carriage equipment. To understand how these dynamic pressures affect soldier tolerance and performance, pressure measurement equipment must be able to accurately and repeatable measure changing applied pressures to the skin. Two modern pressure measurement systems with potential for application on human subjects were examined in this study: a piezoresistive technology by Vista Medical, Ltd., and a capacitance system by XSENSOR® Technology Corporation. Each system was tested to determine the accuracy and repeatability to highly controlled, standardized dynamic loading. To examine pressure sensor performance, each pressure sensor was cyclically loaded by an Instron 5500 R using a standardized protocol in each sensor’s calibration range. Results showed the XSENSOR® had showed better accuracy compared to the FSA, since the XSENSOR® measured a force that was 64% of the peak force applied to the sensor; whereas the. FSA measure a force that was 49% of the actual applied force. Further, the XSENSOR® showed better repeatability for peak forces (1.3% coefficient of variation) compared to the FSA (20.8% coefficient of variation). Results suggest that both systems have poor accuracy in comparison to the Instron; however, the low coefficient of variation for the XSENSOR® means that an algorithm could be built to correct for the slow response time of the system. Further research is

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Load carriage;Dynamic Biomechanical Model;Pressure measurement systems;Dynamic Pressures;XSENSOR®;Skin Contact Pressures
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2005-126 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Aug 2005
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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