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Seat Cushion And Posture Effects In Military Propeller Aircraft Vibration Environments - Introduction; Proceedings Of The First American Conference On Human Vibration
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    Annoyance, fatigue, and musculoskeletal pain have been reported during prolonged exposures to propulsion-generated vibration in military propeller aircraft1. The objective of this study was to determine the vibration mitigation properties of selected seat cushions and the effects of occupant seating posture during exposure to higher frequency multi-axis vibration associated with military propeller aircraft. Methods A Navy E-2C Hawkeye crew seat was mounted onto the Six Degree-of-Freedom Motion Simulator (SIXMODE). Six seat pan cushion configurations were tested during exposure to an E-2C vibration signal collected in the field1. Seat pan cushions 1 - 5 were used with the original E-2C seat back cushion. Cushion configuration 6 included seat pan cushion 5 with a prototype seat back cushion. Triaxial accelerometer pads were mounted onto the seat pan and seat back cushions to measure the vibration entering the human. Data were collected for seven subjects seated upright with their backs in contact with the seat (back-on) and not in contact with the seat (back-off). Spectral analysis techniques were used to analyze data at the two dominant frequencies associated with the propulsion system (propeller rotation frequency (PRF) ~18.5 Hz, and blade passage frequency (BPF) ~73.5 Hz). Overall accelerations were also calculated between 1 and 80 Hz. Vibration Total Values (VTVs) were calculated using the weighted seat pan and seat back (back-on only) accelerations and compared to the comfort reactions given in ISO 2631-1: 19972. Results In general, the highest accelerations observed at the seat pan occurred in the fore-and-aft (X) direction at both the PRF and the BPF for all cushions and both postures. The most pronounced effect was at the BPF in the X direction, where all configurations showed significantly lower seat pan accelerations than configuration 1 (original E-2C cushion) with the back-on posture. Configuration 5 was the exception with the back-off posture (Fig. 1A, Repeated Measures ANOVA, P<0.05). The most pronounced effect of posture occurred at the PRF in the X direction, where all cushion configurations showed significantly lower seat pan accelerations with the back-off posture (Fig. 1B). All configurations except configuration 2 showed similar VTVs as compared to Configuration 1 (Fig. 2, P<0.05). Configuration 2 tended to show the lowest weighted acceleration levels. The overall VTVs (back-on only, Fig. 2B) showed significantly higher accelerations as compared to both the back-on and back-off seat pan point VTVs (Figs. 2A &

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