Science and design aid comfort

Published on LCDR Emma McDonald-Kerr (author), LSIS Bradley Darvill (photographer)

Commander Submarine Force, Captain Matt Buckley, RAN, is scanned during Royal Australian Navy Anthropometrics at HMAS Stirling Health Centre, Rockingham (photo: LSIS Bradley Darvill)
Commander Submarine Force, Captain Matt Buckley, RAN, is scanned during Royal Australian Navy Anthropometrics at HMAS Stirling Health Centre, Rockingham

Efforts to build a Navy avatar are off to a flying start with more than 500 west coast-based officers and sailors taking the challenge to their east coast compatriots.
Defence Trial 922 (DT 922) involves the anthropometric (body shape and size) measurement of Navy personnel, with the aim of collecting data on more than 1,500 members. 

This information will be used to build a body profile of today’s sailor and ultimately, influence the design of work and living spaces in future Navy warships and submarines.

According the Australian Defence Test and Evaluation Office trial director Captain Simon Atkinson the program is on course.

Captain Atkinson said Navy is broadly achieving the right profiles to achieve representation across the service, but there are some key areas to match. 

Commanding Officer HMAS Stirling, Captain Angela Bond, RAN, is measured up during Royal Australian Navy Anthropometrics at HMAS Stirling Health Centre, Rockingham.

Commanding Officer HMAS Stirling, Captain Angela Bond, RAN, is measured up during Royal Australian Navy Anthropometrics at HMAS Stirling Health Centre, Rockingham.

“In order to achieve meaningful data it is essential that participants reflect a cross section of Navy personnel,”he said.

“All members are encouraged to volunteer for this unique opportunity. 

“We would particularly like to involve a higher number of officers and senior sailors to ensure that age, gender and experience profiles are captured in the survey results.” 

Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator Shay-Maree Lowry, who volunteered for the experiment said it was painless and simple.

“At the end of the day, it’s about improving life at sea,”Able Seaman Lowry said. 

Able Seaman Marine Technician Liam Patterson said the staff were good and the process easy, but he was surprised by the number of measurements taken.

“All volunteers are asked to wear robes over body-form sports-type underwear to allow for accurate measurement of body shapes and sizes.”

Deputy trials manager Warrant Officer Carl Larkin said he was impressed by the enthusiasm of the volunteers in the first phase of the trial.

“Personnel at HMAS Stirling and Fleet Base West have set the benchmark for the east,” Warrant Officer Larkin said.

“If Sydney-based personnel can sustain this momentum in phase two of the trial, we will generate some excellent data for use in future frigate and submarine projects.”

DT 922 will run over five weeks at HMAS Kuttabul commencing on February 16.