The role of the basic helmet historically has been to provide protection. This role has not changed but has been expanded. While initially providing impact protection, the helmet’s protective role has grown to include hearing and eye protection. Now, the helmet is expected to serve additionally as a platform for mounting a display. However, this new function must not compromise the helmet’s primary requirement to provide protection.
To design an integrated HMD which can meet both the old and new requirements, several helmet parameters and associated factors must be considered. These include the biodynamic characteristics of mass and center of mass (CM), impact attenuation, the design issue of HMD frangibility (breakaway capability), the fitting system; acoustical protection and communication issues; and eye protection from particulate matter as well as sun glare and directed energy (e.g., lasers).
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