Field Trial of Objective Biomechanical Assessment of Extended Body Armour Phase 1

Essai pratique de l’évaluation biomécanique objective du vêtement de protection balistique allongé Phase 1


  1. Stevenson, J.M.
  2. Selinger, J.
  3. Gooyers, C.
  4. Costigan, P.
  5. Almosnino, S.
  6. Upjohn, T.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
This work in objective biomechanical evaluation of extended body armour was performed for the Soldier System Integration Group at Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC)-Toronto in support of the Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) Technical Demonstration Project (TDP). Various designs of armour systems provide similar ballistic protection; yet differ in stiffness, bulk, and weight. Research goals were: 1) to conduct a demonstration project of how wireless inertial motion sensors can be used to assess biomechanical outcomes during personal protective equipment (PPE) evaluations; 2) to quantitatively assess soft armour systems using electromyography and inertial motion sensor technology; 3) to compare subjective data from soldiers’ preferences with data from electromyography (EMG) of muscle signals and range of motion (ROM) of joints. Despite small sample size, findings of this preliminary investigation indicate that this approach of combining EMG concurrently with ROM, has great potential to provide an objective biomechanical assessment of personal protective equipment. The EMG and ROM objective measures were all positively correlated with soldiers’ subjective responses, particularly for the shoulder region ROM tasks. Results indicate that less stiff, less bulky, and lighter systems are deemed superior for dynamic tasks, whereas, stiffer, bulkier, and heavier systems may have advantages for static holding tasks.

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Objective measurements;EMG;body armour;personal protective equipment;PPE;biomechanical;Horizon 0;C-IED;protective equipment;Counter-IED;IED protection;User evaluation;Range of motion
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2009-012 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
07 Nov 2008
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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