CFD Research to Develop Warfighter Avatars for Personalized Performance Assessment and Simulation-Based Training

CFD Research to Develop Warfighter Avatars for Personalized Performance Assessment and Simulation-Based Training

Huntsville, Ala. – The Defense Health Agency (DHA) recently awarded CFD Research a contract to develop computer software for generating dynamic warfighter avatars with mission-relevant movements such as walking, running, crawling, and other military-relevant motions.  This work will bring realistic motion capabilities to the static avatars currently used by the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) and provide a novel capability for assessing personalized responses to exercise, load, and extreme environments.

“Virtual human avatars will play a critical role in the next generation of advanced training environments, performance-related physiological assessment, and design of personal protective equipment, said Dr. Paulien Roos, CFD Research Manager, and Principal Investigator for the project.

In prior work, CFD Research developed and demonstrated the ability to create anthropometrically accurate avatars and animate them to perform realistic military-relevant motions. The resulting product used high-level commands and a graphical user interface (GUI) for the assembly of avatars and equipment and playback and analysis of the resulting motion animations.

In this follow-on effort, CFD Research is enhancing the avatars to create a complete virtual human with physiology and biomechanics. By combining prediction of avatar movement and biomechanical characteristics with a physiology engine the resulting capability enables direct insights on warfighter biomechanics (e.g., motion, muscle activation, and joint loading) as well as physiological response (e.g., heart rate, respiratory rate, sweating, core temperature) in response to different environmental conditions (e.g., terrain, temperature, altitude, humidity). The addition of clothing and equipment material simulations is particularly useful for equipment design, both in the military as well as for commercial applications.

“This software could help organizations and professions where people operate in extreme environments and/or require personalized protective equipment. Potential non-defense applications include clothing and gear for extreme sports, firefighters and astronauts, ergonomic design of machines and devices, such as aircraft, vehicles, medical devices and buildings, as well as endurance sports applications and the design of fitness equipment or apparel,” said Dr. Kapil Pant, CFD Research Executive Vice President.

About CFD Research: Since its inception in 1987, CFD Research has worked with government agencies, businesses and academia to provide innovative solutions within the Aerospace & Defense, Biomedical & Life Sciences, and Energy & Materials industries. Over the years CFD Research has earned multiple national awards for successful application and commercialization of innovative technology prototypes, multi-physics simulation software, multi-disciplinary analyses, and expert support services. CFD Research’s impressive three-year growth rate was high enough to recognize the company in the Inc. Magazine’s 5000 for the second year in a row. CFD Research is an ISO9001 and AS9100 registered company and is appraised at CMMI Level II for services.