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NIGHT VISION, MUNITIONS AND BALLISTICS UPDATE

23 Jun 10. UEC/Creation blast seat makes world market debut at DVD/. The latest production ready version of a radical new design blast seat for military vehicles and other platforms is being unveiled for the first time at DVD 2010. The collaborative programme, between specialist protected platform manufacturer, Universal Engineering (Charlestown) and design house and defence vehicle engineering specialist, Creation UK Limited, has demonstrated that the new blast seat can help to mitigate potential body shock, organ and skeletal injuries in the event of a protected platform encountering a roadside bomb or Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast. In recent fully instrumented tests and detailed engineering analysis, the British designed blast seat further confirmed its significant capabilities and outstanding performance. Importantly, the test results also suggested that the benefits may be achieved across a wide range of platforms – at different gross weights, configurations and levels of protection. The tests were conducted with a blast seat loaded to simulate a 95th percentile male soldier with full body armour, weighing 120kg. Data, including measurement of acceleration at the seat frame mounting points, as well as at the seat base and damper assembly interface, were monitored and then used to correlate further modelling, FEA structural analysis and predictive engineering at escalating blast levels. Universal Engineering (Charlestown) Projects Director, John Scott says, “During the evolution of our already highly acclaimed Ranger protected vehicle – for which Creation is our automotive design partner – we identified an urgent industry need to take a completely fresh look at seating accommodation. The result is a radical new blast seat, which sets new standards for occupant safety and survivability. It is now production ready and will be marketed by Universal Engineering. We have also created an engineering support capability with Creation, to assist with any design, installation engineering or associated requirements for other platforms and applications”.
Creation UK Managing Director, Bill Davis says, “A huge amount of attention has been rightly devoted to the evolution of protected occupant cells for armoured vehicles. Our collaborative blast seat programme with Universal Engineering has now taken that a stage further by reassessing the actual seating arrangement within the vehicle. We have been able to further mitigate the risk of serious injury, particularly to the spine, by looking at how blast shock is transferred to the body through the seat structure.
“Creation has in-depth experience of specialist orthopaedic and osteopathic seat design through one of our businesses, Iliac Design. This new seat bucket has hydraulically damped and upwardly limited vertical free movement on its mounting frame to mitigate blast acceleration – a feature which we are calling ‘linear energy absorbing system’ (LEAS). The frame – not the seat bucket itself – is mounted to the side of the vehicle and there is no fastening or rigid fixture between the floor of the vehicle and the underside of the seat. In the event of a blast therefore, the seat will rise in a controlled ascent, mitigating any severe shock being transmitted to the spine through the seat structure”, says Bill Davis.
Creation Engineering Director, Robin Hall says, “The dynamic behaviour of any protected platform during a blast will vary. Our task is to optimise all the elements in the blast management and mitigation process – including the seat – in order to reduce transmitted body shock and the risk of associated injuries. Crucially – and a key feature in our new seat design, is that the in-built blast management system can rapidly reset – in time for the secondary slam-down event ”.
At the heart of the design are two captive vertical tubes to which the seat bucket is attached by linear bearings. Two high performance telescopic hydraulic dampers with conce

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