Title: A musculoskeletal fatigue model for prediction of aviator neck manoeuvring loadings

Authors: Xianlian Zhou; Phillip Whitley; Andrzej Przekwas

Addresses: CFD Research Corporation, Huntsville, AL, 35805, USA ' CFD Research Corporation, Huntsville, AL, 35805, USA ' CFD Research Corporation, Huntsville, AL, 35805, USA

Abstract: A new musculoskeletal fatigue model was developed and demonstrated on the prediction of neck musculoskeletal loading and fatigue of fighter pilots during high-G aerial combat manoeuvring (ACM). A whole body articulated multi-body model with detailed neck musculature, representing a 50th percentile male, was utilised in this study. To account for the decrease of muscle force generation capacity during intensive muscle contraction, a new dynamic muscle fatigue model based on a fatigue-rest-recovery mechanism was incorporated to predict muscle fatigue responding to arbitrary neural excitations. Two flight postures, look-ahead and check-6, were investigated on their effects on neck loading during a 6-minute idealised ACM profile. The joint dynamics, muscle forces and fatigue levels, representing the neck biodynamic responses to the applied aircraft acceleration, were obtained and compared for these two postures. Significant differences are observed which show the check-6 posture poses much greater challenge to muscle force generation and induces quicker and severer muscle fatigue.

Keywords: musculoskeletal modelling; muscle fatigue; high-G aerial combat; aerial combat manoeuvring; ACM; neck loading; musculoskeletal fatigue; fighter pilots; articulated multi-body modelling; muscle force generation; intensive muscle contraction; fatigue-rest-recovery mechanism; arbitrary neural excitations; flight postures; joint dynamics; neck responses; biodynamic responses; aircraft acceleration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFMS.2014.067174

International Journal of Human Factors Modelling and Simulation, 2014 Vol.4 No.3/4, pp.191 - 219

Received: 20 Oct 2013
Accepted: 24 Apr 2014

Published online: 23 Jan 2015 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article