Kistler has begun in-house production of its THOR crash test dummies at its Heidelberg, Germany, facility.
Describing the production of THOR (Test device for Human Occupant Restraint) crash test dummies as “the last piece” missing from the company’s portfolio, Alexander Schmitt, business driver for vehicle safety at Kistler, said, “In addition to instrumentation, we have been providing in-dummy data acquisition and DAS integration solutions for more than two years. The next logical step was to offer our customers a comprehensive system solution for THOR dummies.”
THOR’s in-dummy data acquisition solution consists of Kistler’s compact DTI375.TH crash recorder with 288 channels, an integrated flash data memory that can easily be inserted into the dummy, and an integrated start/record function. The DTI375.TH can record for up to 180 seconds.
“We use our proven DTI technology in our crash test dummies. This transforms the analog sensor output from the crash test into digital signals in the sensor itself and forwards them to the DTI375.TH crash recorder, which is located centrally in the dummy,” explained Schmitt.
“Aside from reliability and high data quality, customers benefit from the measurement technology’s increased flexibility: the required cabling is kept to a minimum. Only one cable is routed from the dummy, which greatly reduces the time required for test preparation.”
Kistler is focusing on THOR dummies, which will replace the H3 dummy over the next few years, both in the USA and in Europe. The regulations still stipulate the use of the H3 dummy for crash tests, but the THOR dummy will be used in Euro NCAP testing from 2020 onward. Many test laboratories are already using the new generation of dummies as a reference alongside the H3.
The Kistler project team based its dummy development on the Standard Build Level A (SBL A), which aims to meet the drawings and qualification specifications set out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) NCAP, which was adopted by Euro NCAP.
The first prototype dummy was built in June 2017 in Heidelberg. The dummy certification laboratory was expanded in October and the first successful sled tests were held in November 2017. Kistler is also investing in a new test laboratory as well as expanding its production site in Heidelberg.
“Production plans for the skeletal parts as well as the critical flesh and rubber parts are in place; the final assembly plan is complete. The test dummies are currently being subjected to certification tests and soon we will begin production. We introduced our THOR dummy to the public at this year’s SafetyWeek in Würzburg – our customers were impressed,” said Schmitt.