One important aspect of aircraft crashworthiness studies is to reduce head injuries to an aircraft occupant in case of a head contact with its surroundings. In view of the significance of this problem, studies of post-crash dynamic behavior of victims and the compliance characteristics of the aircraft bulkhead are necessary in order to reduce severe head injuries. Crash dynamics program SOM-LA/TA, incorporating a dynamic model of the human body with a finite element model of the seat structure was used. Modifications including development of more accurate contact force models and an occupant/seat envelope were performed in SOM-LA/TA. It was then used as an analytical tool for determination of the occupant response and the compliance characteristics of the bulkhead in various crash environments. Correlated studies of analytical simulations with impact sled test results were accomplished. It was observed that the code reasonably predicted the Head-Injury-Criteria (HIC) for the triangular-shaped pulses. A parametric study of the coefficients in the contact force model was then performed in order to obtain a correlation between the HIC and the coefficients in the contact force model. A measure of optimal values for the bulkhead compliances and displacement requirements was thus achieved in order to keep the possibility of head injury as little as possible. This information could in turn be used in the selection of suitable materials for the bulkhead, instrument panel, or interior walls of an aircraft.

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