HEADS Generation II helmet sensor unveiled


July 30, 2010

The Generation II HEADS helmet sensor indicates when soldiers have received a concussive blow to the head

The Generation II HEADS helmet sensor indicates when soldiers have received a concussive blow to the head

The problem with head injuries is that people who receive them often don’t realize how serious they actually are, until it’s too late. That’s why BAE Systems developed the Headborne Energy Analysis and Diagnostic System (HEADS) helmet sensor back in 2008. Used by the US Army and Marine Corps, the sensor is mounted inside soldiers’ helmets, and indicates when it has received concussive force sufficient to cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Last week at the Farnborough International Air Show, BAE announced the launch of the second generation of HEADS sensors.

“Diagnosing mild to moderate combat-related TBIs can be challenging. For example, following an explosion from a roadside bomb, soldiers will sometimes continue with their mission, unaware that the concussion from the blast may have lingering effects,” said Joe Coltman, VP of BAE’s Personnel Protection Systems business. “With the Generation II HEADS sensor, even if the injury isn’t obvious, the sensor is equipped with a programmable color LED light that can be set to activate during a blast event, providing immediate notification of a possible combat-related TBI which should be checked out by medical personnel.”

The sensors are also equipped with an RF transmitter, the signal of which will be picked up by receivers when the soldier returns to their base. If a soldier has sustained a harmful blow, the signal from his sensor will alert base officials to the situation.

The Generation II HEADS sensor doesn’t simply record the fact that a blast occurred, but also indicates the impact direction, magnitude, duration, blast pressures, angular and linear accelerations, plus the exact times of single or multiple blast events. This data can be downloaded through a USB or wireless connection, for analysis by medical teams.

Delivery of the new HEADS sensors is scheduled to begin next April.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth
1 Comment

This device should be mandatory in all football and other-sport helmets. Insurance companies should require it, as should all educational institutions, from elementary school through college sports departments. Denial is endemic; this would preempt denial with objective information.

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