Technical note | Anthropometric Manikins for the Design and Evaluation of Soldier Equipment
Currently soldier systems engineers often use a typical tailor's dummy to design and evaluate torso borne Soldier Combat Ensemble (SCE) items like harnesses and chest rigs. It is not known how the dummy's size and shape was established, but it is likely not based on current Australian Army anthropometric data. This report contains details of the use of the Principal Components Analysis method to select a representative selection of body scans from the Australian Army Anthropometric survey and manufacture them into physical manikins. The aim is to provide design tools based on real Australian Defence Force member's size and shape that can be used and evaluated for their usefulness in the future.
Currently soldier systems engineers often use a typical tailor’s dummy to design and evaluate torso borne Soldier Combat Ensemble (SCE) items like harnesses and chest rigs. It is not known how the dummy’s size and shape was established, but it is likely not based on current Australian Army anthropometric data. Options for sizing design and assessment are based on an analysis of univariate statistics, or more rarely user trials that feature fitmapping to see who fits in what. Univariate statistics are easy to use, but do not represent the complexities of shape or the way in which different anthropometric measures combine. Fitmapping activities are the gold standard of sizing trials, but are extremely labour and resource intensive. Further, few people have the knowledge to conduct these activities.
During 2012 Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group worked with the University of South Australia to deliver the Australian Warfighter Anthropometry Survey (AWAS), the first survey of the Army since the 1970s. This survey contained 85 measures and included full body scans from a Vitus XXL scanner. The results of this survey are used in the design and evaluation of Army soldier equipment and vehicles.
Principal Components Analysis is a common way for reducing a high number of anthropometric variables to a lower number of factors that represent the majority of variance in the dataset. Once the desired accommodation ellipse is drawn around this data, boundary cases can be identified that represent the extremes of the intended user group which are the harder to fit people in terms of shape and size. The theory is that if all boundary manikins can be accommodated by a design then it is likely that those persons within the bounds are also accommodated.
This report contains details of the use of the Principal Components Analysis method to select scans from the Army anthropometric database and then manufacture them into manikins. Some recommendations are made for their use in a design and evaluation context and conclusions and recommendations are made concerning potential ways ahead in the future.