Carleton’s Crash Dummy Team Performs Successful Crash Test

The Carleton University Crash Dummy (CUCD) team performed its final crash test of the academic year Friday. The project is run by 17 fourth-year mechanical and aerospace engineering students and is led by professors Hanspeter Frei, Mojtaba Ahmadi and Andrew Speirs.

“We are all very impressed that we got everything to work on the first attempt, which is an improvement over last year,” said Speirs. ”Next year we will continue to work on timing to ensure we get the most realistic hit possible. It can be just a matter of milliseconds with the speeds we are going.”

The team has worked towards performing a successful crash test for two terms. Friday morning students set up a track, prepared the crash dummy, inserted sensing systems and arranged cameras around the scene for video analysis.

“This year we were successful right off and our first attempt resulted in a crash,“ said Jessey Almeida, CUCD project co-ordinator. “We got our timing right, which was great. We did a lot of calculations to determine how far back the car and the bike had to start. We were off a bit. We weren’t intending to do a rear wheel crash, but I think it is still an accurate representation of the kind of crash that could occur.”

The team placed the crash dummy they designed on a bicycle, which was then placed on a 20-foot track. The car travelling perpendicular to the path of the bike was calibrated to collide.

“I learned to appreciate the synergy between several disciplines of engineering as they come together to solve problems,” said Malhar Mukhopadhyay, CUCD team member. “I worked with electronic components, which involve applications from my feedback and mechatronics courses, giving me practical insight into the theory I have learned.”

The team created data analysis and acquisition systems to gather concrete results from the test. One element of the project is analyzing head injuries; the team measured and recorded acceleration results from the head and determined the nature of the injury the dummy cyclist sustained in the crash. The team also had sensors in the legs and chest to measure impacts there.

“I chose to work with the sensing and instrumentation team this year and it has been a steep learning curve,” said Sandra Fiset, CUCD team member. “I designed and built a data acquisition system for the dummy using various microcontrollers and programming interfaces. This has given me a new insight into robotics, sensing technologies and integrated systems.”

About Carleton University:
Located in the nation’s capital, Carleton University is a dynamic research and teaching institution with a tradition of leading change. Its internationally recognized faculty, staff and researchers provide more than 25,000 full- and part-time students from every province and more than 100 countries around the world with academic opportunities in more than 65 programs of study, including public affairs, journalism, film studies, engineering, high technology, and international studies. Carleton’s creative, interdisciplinary and international approach to research has led to many significant discoveries and creative works in science and technology, business, governance, public policy and the arts. As an innovative institution Carleton is uniquely committed to developing solutions to real-world problems by pushing the boundaries of knowledge and understanding daily.

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