Evaluation of Potential Solutions to Mitigate Aircrew Neck Strain – CIMVHR contract W7714-125624/001/SV- task 14


  1. Chafe, G.S.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Aircrew neck strain has become a prevalent problem for air forces around the world. Many factors have been linked to the problem, including the use of Night Vision Goggles (NVG). In order to address this problem over the short term, two multidisciplinary teams were contracted to propose potential solutions. A panel of eight experts from different fields of expertise subsequently evaluated these solutions. The highest rated solution—though not one selected by most members of the panel—was to reduce the helmet/NVG system weight, centre of gravity, and moment of inertia. The most popular solutions were procedural ones focussed on assisting the aircrew to reduce neck strain through education and an athletics-based exercise regime. The most popular engineering solutions were scored moderately and used different approaches, for example, reducing NVG use by removing or shifting NVG weight on the helmet, and replacing the current counterweight with an on-body elastomer system. In the short term, assessments of different approaches to mitigate aircrew neck pain will need to incorporate aircrew acceptance of these approaches if they are to have any significant effect.

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Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TR-2013-089 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Jul 2014
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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