US Army Anthropometric Survey (ANSUR II)

Dr. Claire C. Gordon, Senior Research Scientist in Biological Anthropology at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) in Natick, MA.

Dr. Claire C. Gordon, Senior Research Scientist in Biological Anthropology at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) in Natick, MA.

This is a guest post from Dr. Claire C. Gordon, Senior Research Scientist in Biological Anthropology at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) in Natick, MA. Dr. Gordon is responsible for basic and applied research dealing with the accommodation of human physical variation in the design, development, and fielding of military systems. She provides scientific input/advice to senior managers, represents Natick in scientific forums, and mentors Natick scientists and engineers. This post is specifically focused on her vision for the Army’s Anthropometric Survey (ANSUR II).

When the uniform just doesn’t fit and there aren’t enough of the right sizes, what’s a Soldier to do? Well, the Army’s ANSUR II program will have some answers to that. For starters, anthropometry is defined as the measurement of the size and shape of the human body. Periodically, the US Army conducts detailed measurement surveys of its Soldiers as a way to understand the impact that changes in Soldier body size have for the design, fit and sizing of virtually every piece of clothing and equipment that Soldiers wear and use in combat. The database of Soldier body sizes is maintained at NSRDEC in Natick, MA. The current anthropometric database (ANSUR, 1988) contains body size information on Active Duty Soldiers only, and it is now over twenty years old.

Anthrotech employee Marshall Gravley-Novello takes a Bicristal Breadth measurement on a Soldier at Ft. McCoy while another Anthrotech employee, Tony Hartshorn records the data. (US Army photo)

Anthrotech employee Marshall Gravley-Novello takes a Bicristal Breadth measurement on a Soldier at Ft. McCoy while another Anthrotech employee, Tony Hartshorn records the data. (US Army photo)

With more than 50 percent of today’s force in the Reserve and National Guard, it’s important that the Total Army is represented. In the beginning of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, supply officials ran into difficulty acquiring the correct sizes of chemical gear and body armor for troops. This led the NSRDEC team to conduct a pilot study of anthropometric change in 2007. The results of this 2006/2007 pilot study on 2,811 Active, Reserve, and Guard Soldiers showed that increases in body weight since 1988 (with virtually no increases in body height) are so significant that subjects in the 1988 ANSUR database cannot represent today’s larger, heavier Soldier.

Scheduled to run through early Apr 2012, the ANSUR II survey will measure approximately 11,000 Soldiers (including 1,000 aviators) using a sampling strategy that represents Total Army operational, geographic and demographic distributions. The resulting database will contain 94 standardized body measurements and 3D digital scans of each Soldier’s body, head/face and foot. It will constitute the first ever Army anthropometric database to provide integrated direct measurements and 3D scan images on the same individuals, and a sampling distribution that includes Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard Soldiers to represent the Total Army.

The Army’s ANSUR II Field Supervisor, Joe Parham, explains survey details to Soldiers at Ft. McCoy. (US Army photo)

The Army’s ANSUR II Field Supervisor, Joe Parham, explains survey details to Soldiers at Ft. McCoy. (US Army photo)

The data collection phase of ANSUR II began on 4 October 2010 at Ft. Hood, TX. To date, over 6,400 US Army Soldiers have been fully measured and scanned as part of the Army’s ANSUR II survey. The survey team is currently located at Ft. Rucker, AL, and will be moving to Ft. Bragg, NC at the beginning of October to collect data. ANSUR II measuring team will ultimately visit twelve Army posts. The schedule was developed in collaboration with FORSCOM, TRADOC, ARNG and USAR personnel operating under an HQDA executive order.

 Resulting foot scan image when using a 3D foot scanner. A 3D whole body scanner will be used to capture additional measurements, contours and curvatures to help in designing close-fitting items such as body armor. A 3D head and face scanner will be used to capture the complex shapes and curvatures needed for designing and integrating helmets, goggles, face and respiratory protection. A 3D foot scanner will also be used to capture foot size and shape for footwear design. (US Army scan)

Resulting foot scan image when using a 3D foot scanner. A 3D whole body scanner will be used to capture additional measurements, contours and curvatures to help in designing close-fitting items such as body armor. A 3D head and face scanner will be used to capture the complex shapes and curvatures needed for designing and integrating helmets, goggles, face and respiratory protection. A 3D foot scanner will also be used to capture foot size and shape for footwear design. (US Army scan)

 

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