Military.com is reporting that the U.S. Army is deploying new body worn sensors in Afghanistan to measure and help understand how intense impacts, such as nearby explosions, affect the human body. Each unit contains four sensors that communicate with one another as well with an armored vehicle based system that has additional sensors that collect information.
The Army hopes that the I-BESS (Integrated Blast Effects Sensor Suite) system, which passively collects and manages the data with minimal maintenance by the soldiers, will help identify those with a greater chance for asymptomatic injuries, often in the brain, and improve armor and other mitigation strategies.
The Army’s Rapid Equipping Force has worked hard with the Georgia Tech Research Institute to rush the sensor suite to Afghanistan to collect as much data as possible on concussions and TBIs before soldiers leave in 2014.
“We’re trying to get the data while we still can. I don’t want this to sound wrong, but the data we collect from these explosions is very important for us to measure how these blasts affect a soldier’s head and body,” said Amy O’Brien, a REF chief scientist.
The Army is also installing 42 vehicles with floor-and seat-mounted accelerometers to measure the effect of blasts on soldiers inside vehicles hit by improvised explosive devices. Engineers will install I-BESS sensors into Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicles and MaxxPro Dash MRAPs in Afghanistan rather than ship more vehicles.
All of the data collected by the I-BESS will go to the Joint Trauma Analysis and Prevention of Injury in Combat, where medical professionals will have access to the database. A personal code inside each soldier’s Common Access Card will protect the soldier’s individual medical data, Hester said.
More from Military.com: Army Ships Next-Gen Blast Sensors…
(hat tip: Ubergizmo)