DIAdem Software Accelerates Crash Test Analysis

Steve Armstrong, Autoliv North America

"After a crash test, we have a fully analyzed test data package within minutes. Before we implemented DIAdem, we sometimes had to wait several hours."

- Steve Armstrong, Autoliv North America

The Challenge:

Making automated crash test results available quickly and efficiently.

The Solution:

Using NI DIAdem software to completely automate crash test data analysis and reporting.

Crash-Testing 101

Autoliv, a leading automotive safety systems manufacturer, conducts a variety of automotive safety tests – the most dramatic being the barrier test, where a fully road-ready car is towed into a solid barrier. Barrier tests may contain up to several hundred sensors that digitally record the crash event data. Other tests vary in complexity, testing specific car subassemblies such as dash panels, or recording airbag pressure.


To use crash data, we measure accelerations and other parameters in several locations on a test article and record crash test dummy forces, accelerations, and displacements. We then process the crash test data according to various standards, including NHTSA, SAE, and FMVSS. Since 1996, we have used an automated system based on DIAdem to analyze and report thousands of crash test results. DIAdem reduced data processing time from several hours to half an hour, providing test results within a very short time after running the test, whereupon we quickly may draw conclusions, run more tests, and ultimately be more productive.


DIAdem Results in Quick Turnaround

Because of the costs and setup involved with crash testing, we are always looking for ways to speed up and optimize our processes. We use the standard DIAdem functionality coupled with numerous automation scripts to determine exactly how well the safety system under test performed and quickly make informed decisions. Automation helps us rapidly analyze different data and report outputs. Because DIAdem incorporates standard crash analysis functions, we can take advantage of its standard off-the-shelf format, rather then writing our own custom code to process crash test data.


By utilizing DIAdem scripting capabilities, we condensed a highly repetitive analysis task into a series of scripted commands. Using the DIAdem dialog editor, we built an intuitive user interface on the front of our data analysis program to further parameterize how the data is analyzed. For example, after starting DIAdem, the user interface populates with a series of choices, including test type and crash test dummy start position.


The automated analysis end product is a series of plots and a table that outlines all processed injury values. We can configure the plots to group similar sensor data together (for example, all dummy head data is on one graph, and leg data on another). The head injury criterion (HIC) value quantifies how severe an injury would have been if the crash victim were human. Injury values such as neck injury criteria and femur force criteria help us determine the severity of the injuries sustained turning the test. One standard specifies an HIC value of at least 700 for injury requirement failure.


How DIAdem Helps Analyze Crash Test Results

DIAdem has helped us streamline our crash test analysis processes and reduce them to a series of upfront decisions regarding how the data is analyzed. We use DIAdem and its scripting capabilities to automate the complete data analysis process. This data analysis automation has been the single most important advancement made to improve our data management capabilities and turnaround time. After a crash test, we have a fully analyzed test data package within minutes. Before we implemented DIAdem, we sometimes had to wait several hours.


As crash test requirements evolve and the need for tighter safety tolerances increases, we collect more data, have greater processing requirements, and, as always, look to reduce costs. DIAdem meets all of these needs by helping us rapidly process our crash test data and providing tools to quickly respond to user changes and requests.


Author Information:

Steve Armstrong
Autoliv North America
1320 Pacific Dr.
Auburn Hills, MI 48326
United States
Tel: (248) 276-3835
Fax: (248) 375-4347