Who is (Sierra) Sam? - Story behind the Skin

Who is (Sierra) Sam?

In 1949, Maj. J. P. Stapp, an Air Force flight surgeon studying the physiology of rapid deceleration, wanted to test his rocket sled on something resembling a human being. The California-based company Sierra Engineering was hired to develop the project and wound up producing a crash test dummy that was appropriately named "Sierra Sam".  

Sierra Sam...Crash Dummy Extraordinaire 

Sam was a 6-foot tall dummy made of rubber and steel. His build was designed from a plaster cast of an actual human being. Although somewhat primitive in design, he did have basic monitoring instruments in his thorax and head. 

Sierra Sam continues to proudly serve as the foundation of the crash dummy industry. Thanks to these super-sophisticated gluttons for punishment, as well as improvements in driver safety training, car drivers and passengers are 15 times less likely to experience a fatal car crash today.

Here are a few fun facts about crash dummies...

  • a typical crash dummy can cost well over $600,000 (shipping is extra!)
  • crash dummies are getting fatter, in direct response to the actual size of trauma patients
  • in the early days, human volunteers served as crash dummies
  • the average crash dummy can have up to 80 sensors
  • a sophisticated crash dummy may record and transmit up to 10,000 bits of data every second
  • Air Force Maj. J. P. Stapp propelled himself over 630 mph on a rocket sled and stopped in less than a second
  • after every crash performed, there is going to be a good chance that the crash test dummy will need repairs
  • the next generation of crash test dummies will likely perform their tasks entirely on a computer screen

Bron: www.keepingussafe.org 

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