Keck School of Medicine of USC

Sports Lab

NOCSAE Headform

In the sports lab we specialize in all types of injury research and prevention. Our lab equipment includes a linear impactor to simulate helmet and boxing impacts (2-10 m/s), an air cannon to fire baseballs, softballs, and hockey pucks upwards of 90mph, and a twin-wire drop stand for NOCSAE and similar helmet testing. We specialize in designing testing protocols for sports safety equipment Research & Development.

Testing Offered

» Football Helmet Testing
» NOCSAE Standard Helmet Drop Tests
» NOCSAE Commotio Cordis Surrogate (NCCS)
» Helmet to Helmet Impacts
» Prototype Sports Equipment Testing
» MMA Glove and Gear Testing
» USA Boxing Standard Headgear and Glove Testing

Equipment List

» Linear Impactor
» Twin-Wire Drop Stand
» Headforms
» NOCSAE Commotio Cordis Surrogate (NCCS)
» High-Speed Camera

MMA Glove Testing Video

Here is an example of one type of testing we do at the BIR Lab. The video shows MMA glove testing with a fully instrumented Hybrid III head and neck captured at 1000 frames/second with our high-speed Phantom Miro. Playback is 15 frames/second. This test setup can easily be modified for boxing gloves, head gear and a multitude of other sports protective equipment.

Cadex Linear Impactor

Cadex Linear Impactor USC The Cadex Linear Impactor is used to simulate helmet and boxing impacts. It is adjustable from 2–10 m⁄s with an adjustable impactor mass from 13–16 kg. The Cadex Impactor also has the option to mount barrels for baseballs, softballs, and hockey pucks, firing them upwards of 90mph to test sports protective equipment. We specialize in customizing a test procedure for sports injury research & development.

Twin-Wire Drop Stand

Twin-Wire Drop Stand USC The Twin-Wire Drop Stand is built to test helmets to the NOCSAE certification levels. With an 8 ft drop height, the drop stand is able to reach a wide range of velocities. A bungee system can be used to accelerate the drop mass for even higher velocities. The drop system can also be adjusted to test soccer shin guards and other sports gear.


Headforms USC
Hybrid III Headform

The Hybrid III head and neck is outfitted with a six-axis upper neck load cell that is used in conjuction with the linear impactor to asses head injuries. A triaxial array of linear and angular accelerometers are at the CG of the head to asses linear and angular acceleration. The Hybrid III can also be used for ballistic helmet tests.

NOCSAE Headform

The NOCSAE headform is used with the NOCSAE twin-wire drop stand for helmet testing. It is outfitted with a triaxial array of accelerometers at the CG of the headform. Angular accelerometers can also be used with the NOCSAE headform. Attaching the headform to a sliding table allows the headform to be used with projectiles to test varrying types of sports headgear.

NOCSAE Commotio Cordis Surrogate (NCCS)

NOCSAE Chestform Thoracic Surrogate USC The NOCSAE Commotio Cordis Surrogate (NCCS) was developed for testing sports protective equipment. The surrogate can be used as a predictor of commotio cordis or to benchmark equipment performance. It features one cardiac load cell, one load cell at the top of the sternum and another at the base of the sternum. The BIR Lab at USC is one of the few facilities in the world with this surrogate.

Phantom Miro LC310

Phantom Miro This high-speed, high-definition (720p) camera is capable of over 3,600fps at HD resolution, and over 10,000fps at standard definition. The LC310 also features a small package making high-speed video capture a possibility in the field. The Miro is high-G rated, giving us the flexibility to record on-board in crash test environments. With Nikon F-mount lenses the Miro has numerous capture capabilities at multiple ranges.

The high-speed camera allows for post test video tracking and analysis. After capture, biomechanical motions can be studied, velocities can be derived and other useful data can be recorded.