THE National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a subsidiary of India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, has commissioned a crash sled that will have the capability to cater to aerospace and automotive product development. In a press release in June, Satish Chandra, head of the Structural Technologies Division at the NAL, who led the development, stated that this unique facility was part of an integrated impact and crashworthiness research facility (ICRF) conceptualised and developed at the NAL. The ICRF has been developed as a high-technology facility that will carry out research in the vital areas of flight safety and occupant safety, applicable to both aerospace and automotive customers.
The facility has the capability to test bird strikes using one of the largest bird strike airguns in the world, and to test runway debris, hailstones and other foreign object damage. Drop towers have been developed and can be used to test aircraft crashworthiness. Occupant safety studies can be carried out using crash dummies to understand injuries to humans.
“The facility is equipped with high-speed imaging, crash recorders and material-testing infrastructure. The use of simple airbags and other low-cost safety solutions is being studied at the facility,” said Satish Chandra.
The facility also has the capability to carry out simulations.
Conceptualised and built using frugal engineering concepts and in partnership with small and medium enterprises, this facility is now available to both aerospace and automotive organisations to carry out tests and show compliance with regulations required for aerospace and automotive vehicles.