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Integrated Blast Acquisition Test Surrogate

Seal of the Agency: DOD

Funding Agency



Year: 2022

Topic Number: DHA22B-001

Solicitation Number: DoD STTR 22.B

Tagged as:


Phase I

Solicitation Status: Closed

NOTE: The Solicitations and topics listed on this site are copies from the various SBIR agency solicitations and are not necessarily the latest and most up-to-date. For this reason, you should use the agency link listed below which will take you directly to the appropriate agency server where you can read the official version of this solicitation and download the appropriate forms and rules.

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Release Schedule

  1. Release Date
    April 20, 2022

  2. Open Date
    May 18, 2022

  3. Due Date(s)
    June 15, 2022

  4. Close Date
    June 15, 2022


OUSD (R&E) MODERNIZATION PRIORITY: General Warfighting Requirements (GWR) TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Bio Medical OBJECTIVE: Develop an anatomically accurate low cost blast surrogate to test and evaluate current and next-generation personal protective equipment (PPE). DESCRIPTION: Injury to brain, lungs and neurosensory systems from blast related trauma has been a critical problem for Warfighter brain health and performance (e.g. traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, lung injury) since World War I. Although, the current personal protective equipment is designed to provide limited protection against shrapnel and projectiles from explosive events and low caliber ammunition, there is substantial injury risk stemming from the blast overpressure exposure; consequently, technologies that provide protection against blast are highly desirable. Emerging blast threats and increased mobility requirements for future wars require acquisition of lightweight next-generation PPE, which require test and evaluation for efficacy. Testing systems that provide material based protection/prevention require surrogate platforms to rapidly test and evaluate these systems. Current blast surrogate technologies such as blast test device (BTD) or other surrogate systems either provide limited surface pressure measurements or cost-prohibitive non- surface measurements, which can potentially be used to estimate the extent and magnitude of lung injury. Head surrogates such as the Hybrid III are designed for automotive testing, with biomechanical considerations unsuited for blast protection, and other surrogate systems that measure restricted surface head pressures exist, but are cost-prohibitive. Other head surrogates can measure intracranial pressure, but these systems do not account for neurosensory systems, are not anatomically accurate, and are not integrated into a torso model (Robert et al., 2007). None of these systems are validated applying biological biomechanics to represent an anatomically accurate system. Overall, there are no anatomically integrated blast test acquisition surrogates (iBATS) that are validated with accurate surrogate head, lung and sensory systems. In addition, there are no adequate technologies and test protocols to reduce the risk of Warfighters’ injuries during combat and training operations in overpressure environments (Pratt NJ., 2017; Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets, 2014). Assessing different types of PPE in live animal models is not always practically possible against each threat, weapons system and scenario that produces blast overpressure. Thus, a validated surrogate system such as iBATS is required to acquire PPE with demonstrated effectiveness for emerging blast threats, and to estimate the risk in training and combat environments. The iBATS system should be low cost (<$5K), re-usable, modular, integrated for head, neck, torso and neurosensory systems, anatomically accurate, and portable. The system should ideally withstand and record static pressures as high as 70 psi in a bare (no PPE) configuration and should be biomechanically validated from biological testing (but not required in Phase I). In the later phases, this system should record pressures and transmit the data wirelessly. Overall, this topic desires to develop an iBATS system for PPE acquisition and risk assessment against current and future blast threats. PHASE I: To develop/demonstrate the feasibility of the prototype under limited blast loading conditions (e.g. overpressure) to identify viable functionalities (activation/trigger of sensing systems) of the prototype at head, torso and neurosensory system. This will be achieved by subjecting the prototypes to dynamic loading of blast overpressure exposure at different pressures (e.g. 5–25 psi in steps of 5psi). Offerors may discuss the testing requirements with the POC for the topic. At the end of the phase, a working prototype/device should demonstrate the feasibility/application of the system for repeatability of blast testing at 5–25 psi static pressures. In addition, provide a road-map or experimental plan to test the efficacy of the system at static pressures as high as 70 psi in bare configuration and 130 psi with PPE. In addition, provide a Phase II roadmap for modular system and manufacturing process for a maximum cost of $5,000 for the whole unit. No biomechanical validation is required in this phase. PHASE II: Phase I prototype with an iterative process should be converted into a modular prototype to withstand higher pressures- up to 70 psi without PPE and 130 psi in static pressure with PPE at least for 3 consecutive tests (total 6 tests). Offerors may coordinate with WRAIR for blast testing and utilize their biomechanical expertise for pre-clinical testing. Replaceable modular systems for each of the organs in head, torso and neurosensory systems should be developed for iBATS system from Phase I prototype. The system modular should be fully validated against the biological biomechanical characterizations that are being developed at WRAIR. Ideally, data recorded should be wirelessly transmitted for risk analysis. At the end of this phase, a fully developed modular prototype should be validated that can withstand 70 psi bare configuration and should be ready for commercialization plan. A roadmap should be presented for surrogate data to analyze with a software package for injury risk. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The prototypes developed should provide operational viability in the blast conditions in which Warfighters’ blast-induced performance deficits have been documented in training (e.g. breaching) and can be anticipated in various austere operational environments. The performer may coordinate with WRAIR/USAMRDC/USAMMDA for this objective for advanced development. The performer can seek additional funding from other government sources and/or private investors to commercialize the project. A software package should be fully integrated to quickly analyze and produce the injury risk of various organ systems. Plans for large-scale production, licensing and process for rapid deployment of devices without compromising the performance standards of the product are sought through the funding from government sources and/or private organizations. REFERENCES: Roberts JC, Merkle AC, Biermann PJ, Ward EE, Carkhuff BG, Cain RP, O'Connor JV. Computational and experimental models of the human torso for non-penetrating ballistic impact. J Biomech. 2007; 40(1):125-36. Prat NJ, Daban JL, Voiglio EJ, Rongieras F. Wound ballistics and blast injuries. J Visc Surg. 154:S9- S12. (2017) Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets, Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US), ISBN-13: 978-0-309-29866-7, (2014). KEYWORDS: blast, surrogate, head, torso, sensory, integrated, modular