Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

First Advisor

David G. Meyer

Second Advisor

John Hauser

Third Advisor

Harry Hilgers

Fourth Advisor

Michael Lightner

Fifth Advisor

Daniel Moorer

Abstract

Thousands of mild traumatic brain injuries (mBTIs) occur in US football each year. In some instances, injuries are quite serious and life-threatening. New NFL rules being enforced by the league are an attempt to address this problem. Of interest is whether an active helmet design, employing feedback, can also reduce the incidence of mBTIs in football. Medical evidence and research suggests that peak center of gravity (CG) head acceleration is well correlated with the onset and severity of mBTI. In this dissertation, an active helmet design is introduced, dynamically modeled, and explored from the perspective of using control to reduce the maximum CG head acceleration during a typical football impact.

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