Measurement of head acceleration and angular rate experienced by aerobatic pilots

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Measurement of head acceleration and angular rate experienced by aerobatic pilots

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Richard Jennings en_US
dc.creator Leigh Ellen Lewis en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-12-20T16:04:35Z
dc.date.available 2010-09-28 en_US
dc.date.available 2011-12-20T16:04:35Z
dc.date.created 2010-04-05 en_US
dc.date.issued 2010-05-18 en_US
dc.identifier.other etd-04052010-170259 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2152.3/90
dc.description.abstract Background: Aerobatic pilots are exposed to high levels of positive and negative G’s which can be associated with career-limiting neurovestibular effects including “the wobblies.” Extensive research has been conducted on the effects of positive G’s in centrifuge experiments. Gz tolerances have been quantified for gray-out, black-out, and G-LOC. G-induced vestibular dysfunction or “the wobblies,” though not yet well studied, is thought to affect many aerobatic pilots who are exposed to high levels of negative G’s. Neurovestibular symptoms induced during flight can increase the risk of loss of aircraft control. The actual G forces experienced at head-level in aerobatic pilots have never been characterized, and this study intends to solve this knowledge gap. Methods: Five volunteers at the 2009 US National Aerobatic Championships were fitted with tri-axial accelerometer and angular rate earplug sensors. A second tri-axial accelerometer and angular rate sensor package was fixed to the plane. For each subject, data were collected from the two synchronized sets of hardware during a 10-minute practice session. The recordings of the maximum and minimum G values were also obtained from the aircraft’s G-meter. Results: The maximum and minimum values obtained from the sensors measuring linear acceleration and angular rates from the pilot and the plane were well-correlated. Paired t-tests demonstrated no significant difference between head-level and plane mean linear acceleration. Angular velocity means were mixed. The Gz accelerometer values of the pilot and the plane correlated very closely with the plane’s G-meter. Conclusion: Aerobatic pilots experience a large range of positive and negative accelerations, which appear to correlate well to those of their aircraft. Data can be successfully collected and correlated using tri-axial accelerometers and angular rate sensors. Future work in this field may involve clinical modeling of G-effects based on head-level accelerations and angular rates. en_US
dc.format.medium electronic en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.rights Copyright © is held by the author. Presentation of this material on the TDL web site by The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works. en_US
dc.subject pilot en_US
dc.subject aerobatic en_US
dc.subject accelerometers en_US
dc.subject acceleration en_US
dc.title Measurement of head acceleration and angular rate experienced by aerobatic pilots en_US
dc.type.material text en_US
dc.type.genre thesis en_US
thesis.degree.name Master of Public Health en_US
thesis.degree.level Master en_US
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Texas Medical Branch en_US
thesis.degree.department Preventative Medicine and Community Health en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Dr. Jonathan Clark en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Dr. James Vanderploeg en_US

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