Contributed content, edited for clarity and length
The demands of modern combat vehicles have changed fundamentally in recent years. Vehicles are today required for a wide variety of missions, from simple training, through complex security and surveillance tasks, to tactical combat missions – all of which must be accomplished perfectly.
As a specialist in the field of occupant protection, AUTOFLUG recognized this trend at an early stage, and offers the ideal building blocks for platform-based vehicle systems with modular, highly flexible safety seat systems and stowage solutions. The company’s aim is to resolve the conflict between diametrically opposed requirements for high protection, restricted space for installation, light weight and low costs in the most efficient possible manner – always offering the right solution for a specific requirement.
The shock and pressure wave from a mine detonation interacts with the vehicle structure. Among other effects, this leads to an elastic-dynamic deformation of the vehicle floor and pan. Seat structures conventionally attached to the vehicle floor or wall transfer these extreme forces and accelerations directly to the occupants’ bodies, frequently resulting in severe internal damage and very severe injuries to the head, neck and spine area. For enhanced occupant protection in the event of an explosion, effective safety seat systems are therefore required, in addition to the appropriate armoring of the vehicles.
Textile Solutions for Occupant Safety
The company’s decades of experience with ejection seats, rescue parachutes, parachute harnesses and restraint systems, have been incorporated into the design of AUTOFLUG safety seat systems. Findings from numerous blast tests conducted show that the type and size of the impulse load is similar to the deployment impact of a rescue parachute in the high-speed range. Textile materials transfer tensile forces, but not compressive forces. One outstanding feature of the AUTOFLUG safety seat systems is their extremely low dead weight in relation to their performance.
AUTOFLUG safety seat systems rely consistently decoupling of the occupants from the vehicle. This means that the driver – normally particularly exposed – if equipped with the OVERMATCH SD [suspended dynamic] seat, is able to adjust his or her seating position to the specific requirements of the journey, both under and over the hatch. This is made possible by mechanically switchable belt rollers, also known as retractors. The use of special textile elements gives the seat a very high level of protection while maintaining a low dead weight and minimal space requirement. One important aspect here is maintaining a sufficient safety distance from the seat environment. The modular design allows for adaptation to almost any installation space environment.
Ergonomics and Functionality
The often limited space in the tower poses a particular challenge to the safety seat systems. This is compounded by the extensive and increased use of hand-held personal equipment.
Maximum ergonomics and functionality are required, in addition to protection, even under these difficult conditions – especially in the tower. AUTOFLUG’s newly-developed OVERMATCH CREW TO [turret option] combines the advantages of a decoupled safety seat with the ergonomics and functionality of a conventional mechanical operator’s seat.
The unique textile damping system reduces the force of shock, pressure waves and vibrations on the body. In the complex concepts of overall protection, the seat plays a particularly important role as the interface between man and vehicle. Ergonomics is a decisive factor for crew sustainability.
The seat can be folded down in emergency situations, to evacuate the driver. This enables rapid rescue should the occupants no longer be capable of getting out themselves – a characteristic that also applies to the OVERMATCH CREW SD driver’s seat.
Everything from One Source
AUTOFLUG is a solution-focused partner and assists with the integration of seat components from the early stages of vehicle design. Adaptation takes place in close cooperation with the vehicle manufacturer, in order to identify the best possible solutions for the end-user at the earliest possible stage. Comprehensive services such as training, education and spare parts supply, complete the system supplier’s image.
AUTOFLUG’s textile safety seat systems offer several decisive advantages over conventional seat concepts and have been successfully featured in various vehicle programs. AUTOFLUG offers stowage solutions for equipment and fittings, in addition to the safety seat systems, to be able to guarantee complete occupant protection. These are again based on textile decoupling, are highly flexible and extremely lightweight.
True to the motto ‘THINKING SAFETY,’ AUTOFLUG has been a leading provider of products and services since the dawn of aviation, specifically focusing on rescuing people and ensuring their safety. As a globally recognized supplier and service partner of the international aviation industry, as well as for defense technology, we develop, produce and service a wide range of textile, mechanical and electronic components and systems.
One seat family for every application (Photo: AUTOFLUG GmbH)