Perception thresholds for whole-body vibrations on an airplane seat



The comfort during a flight on an aircraft is important for passengers. Like many other physical factors, vibrations of the airplane may negatively affect comfort. To understand the impact of vibration on comfort, it is important to know in which way the vibrations transmitted through the seat affects the perception of whole-body-vibrations. In this study, perception thresholds for vertical sinusoidal whole-body vibrations with frequencies between 20 Hz and 75 Hz were determined on a vibration platform with a typical economy class aircraft seat bench. Acceleration levels were recorded with accelerometers placed at the right rear seat rail and inside a seat cushion between the seat surface and the participant. The results show a distinct frequency dependency of the detection thresholds when measured at the seat rail. When taking the difference between the two measurement positions into account and describing the thresholds by the acceleration levels at the seat cushion, the determined perception thresholds are nearly frequency independent up to 50 Hz. This finding is in good agreement with literature data suggesting that the specific experimental setup does not play a big role in this frequency range. Differences above 50 Hz might be explained by the additional armrests in the present study.