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Argonne’s Advanced X-Rays Are Beaming the Way to Smarter Helmets

A collaboration between researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory, the Army Research Laboratory and Northwestern University are developing next level military helmets by collecting and deciphering data from x-ray analyses of human skulls. The project leader, physicist Jonathan Almer, stated that the helmet would lead to a decrease in fatal head injuries within the military by utilizing data from the Advanced Photon Source (APS). The APS, which boasts more than 5,500 researchers each year across both the public and private sectors, leads experiments in areas such as the development of life-saving drugs.

The trio of research organizations are using APS to analyze the microstructure of the human skull and determine how its bones respond to impacts. The team conducted a 3-day experiment where they ran APS x-rays continuously on samples of human skulls, collecting a terabyte of data on human bone structure and directionality.

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