Development, Design and Integration of Neck Support Systems for S&R Helicopter Pilots – Final Report


  1. Jahanshah, F.
  2. Krzeminski, M.
  3. Lu, Z.
  4. Ma, A.
  5. Kapps, A.
  6. Aly, A.
  7. Li, R.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Toronto Research Centre , Toronto ON (CAN);Engineering Services Inc, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Novel conceptual design alternatives for a Neck Support System (NECSUS) are developed for helicopter pilots who must wear Helmet Mounted Systems (HMS) during Search and Rescue (S&R) missions. On the basis of a neck support strategy applied, the prototype NECSUS devices developed so far are categorized into BCC: Bracing Collar Concept; HCV: Hooded Collar Vest; HAC: Helmet Attachment Concept. Other strategies are also studied for future implementation. The investigated prototype configurations result in considerable support at extension/flexion postures in mid-sagittal plane. Integration of appropriate active and smart materials based actuators and fabrics into each one of the proposed NECSUS prototypes further enhances their efficiency. To properly configure and optimize BCC/HCV/HAC concepts, a user-friendly Neck EXpert SysTem (NEXST) is being constructed to simulate and quantitatively investigate various loading conditions for the head/neck/NECSUS system. Preliminary dynamic models of NECSUS prototypes have been developed and linked to the head/neck simulation framework using NEXST for modeling the effects of various support strategies on the pilot’s cervical complex. NECSUS design alternatives have been extensively prototyped and tested to examine their performance and compare it with results generated through NEXST simulations. A preliminary test protocol has been developed for testing prototype NECSUS devices experimentally within a formal statistical framework.
Muscle Activation;Neck Load;neck pain;tissue damage;exposure time;body-borne equipment;aircrew behaviour;tasks;postures;aircraft;workspace;chronic;episodic;non-chronic
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2018-C020 — Contract Report
Date of publication
01 Jan 2018
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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