Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

Advisor 1

Douglas Reynolds, Committe Chair

First Committee Member

Brian Landsberger

Second Committee Member

William Culbreth

Graduate Faculty Representative

Edward Neumann

Number of Pages



Extensive research has been conducted into the development of pneumatic seatbladder systems for shock and vibration mitigation for use in current U.S military vehicle envelopes. This research expands on the previous work through an elaborate experimental characterization of four prototype air bladder seat cushion systems. The experimental characterization conducted included shock testing, continuous vibration, and internal dynamic pressure measured during the shock event.

The shock testing was conducted both at the Army Research Lab as well at UNLV. The shock testing conducted at UNLV was performed on a drop tower designed and constructed during the time of this research. The scope of the testing was extended beyond the U.S military's requirements to include random continuous vibrations which can cause physical harm to the occupant over extended durations. The primary considerations are to increase the survivability of crewmembers exposed to mine blasts and mitigation of the vibration experienced in rough or combat related ride situations.

Various suggestions from the tested prototypes are provided for field implementation. This study showed that the seat bladder system produced reductions in dynamic response index (DRI) and from baseline values of pelvic accelerations (up to 77% or 790m/s 2 ), vibration dosage values (VDV up to 60%), and lumbar spinal load (up to 60% or 6000N).


Dynamic response index (DRI); Injury prevention; Pneumatic seat-bladder systems; Seat cushion systems; Shock mitigation; Vibration mitigation; Whole body vibration


Biomechanical Engineering | Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Mechanical Engineering

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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