Portable Playground Surface Attenuation Tester

Period of Performance: 09/30/1993 - 03/31/1994


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Merenco, Inc.
Bellevue, WA 98004
Principal Investigator


The objective of the project is to define, design, fabricate and field test a playground surface impact attenuation tester that is portable, easily operated by a single person and can be economically produced. The proposed device would function by being placed directly on the surface location to be measured rather than being dropped on the surface from an existing or ancillary structure. The initial phase of the project will include: (a) The design and fabrication of a "direct-contact" surface unit containing an accelerometer which would be impacted using a hammer instrumented with a force sensor. Data would be recorded for a set of sample test surfaces using this system and from standard ASTM drop tests with an instrumented headform. (b) The analysis of the data on a digital computer to develop a macro instruction set that defines the data reduction required to characterize the surface from the direct-contact data. (c) The definition of the requirements for a prototype unit including data capture, analysis and display and an estimate of unit cost.