The Neurosurgery Research Facility (NRF) consists of a Seattle Safety designed horizontal acceleration impact sled. The sled has a nominal force of 1.4MN, with a 2000 mm stroke, maximum velocity of 75 kph, and peak acceleration of 80 Gs. The sled is computer controlled from the control room adjacent to the test pad. The input pulse is entered in digital format. Individual crash pulses can be programmed to a high degree of accuracy. The system “learns” from prior tests with the same programmed input, and fine tunes the firing and breaking pressure for the next test. This allows for a greater accuracy in delta-V, acceleration, and pulse width. Prior to firing, a servo-brake holds the sled in position while the pneumatic actuator is charged. With the input pulse loaded, and the actuator fill valves filled, the sled can then be fired. If an abort situation is needed, a “cancel” button in the software, and an emergency stop button on the charge enable box will immediately bleed the firing pressure, disarm the system, and abort the test. The NRF’s test track is also leveled with laser precision, high-intensity lights are used for lighting, and heating/air-conditioning controls the temperature and humidity. Around the sled, there is adequate space for placement of high-speed digital video cameras and a Vicon motion analysis system.
Computer Analysis and Data Server facilities consist of Desktop and laptop PC and Macintosh computers throughout the labs. A dedicated and secure 4TB server that is serviced by the MCW IT department is housed in the laboratory that all authenticated users have access to. Storage locations for each project are secured with permissions that allow only registered users that are included on approved project protocols. Data is backed up nightly with long-term data storage off-site. Software includes MatLab computational package with tool boxes, STATA statistical package, ABAQUS (6.3 standard and explicit), Motion Analysis Package Motion Analysis Corp. 2-D system and 3-D software, and ImageExpress.