Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Douglas D. Reynolds

Second Committee Member

Brian Landsberger

Third Committee Member

Brenden O'Toole

Fourth Committee Member

Aly Said

Number of Pages



This project explored the effectiveness of seat and litter air bladder technologies in reducing patient exposure to whole body shock and vibration during ground borne and airborne medical transport. Several seat and litter air bladder configurations were examined during field tests in a U.S. Army RG-33 MRAP ambulance and a U.S. Army HH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. The MRAP field tests were conducted at Ft. Detrick, Maryland. The Black Hawk field tests were conducted at Ft. Rucker, Alabama.

During the field tests, tri-axial vibration signals were recorded on a 16-channel CoCo90 Data Logger/Frequency Analyzer and then post processed in the laboratory to obtain three-axis 1/3 octave vibration spectra and vibration transmissibility values and low-pass, band-pass and ISO overall vibration values. Vibration reductions through the seat air bladder of up to 47 percent in the vertical direction were achieved. The vibration reducing characteristics of the litter air bladder were significantly affected by the flexibility of the litter webbing and were more difficult to evaluate. More testing is necessary on the litter air bladder to more accurately determine its effectiveness in reducing patient exposure to shock and vibration during medical transport.


Black Hawk (Military transport helicopter); Shock; Shock absorbers—Testing; Transport of sick and wounded; Vibration; Vibration--Health aspects


Engineering | Engineering Mechanics | Mechanical Engineering | Mechanics of Materials

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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