Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Thomas M. Talavage

Second Advisor

Eric A. Nauman


As sport-related traumatic brain injuries face increasing attention from the media and the general public, the need to be able to detect brain injury quickly, inexpensively and accurately is more important than ever. Commercially-available event-based systems exist that claim to achieve this goal; however, they collect little to no continuous-time data and primarily indicate when a pre-determined acceleration threshold has been exceeded under the unvalidated assumption that a potentially concussive blow has occurred. Recent findings by the Purdue Neurotrauma Group (PNG) have indicated that repeated exposure to both concussive and subconcussive blows can result in cumulative trauma disorder. To track cumulative trauma over time it is necessary to record all accelerations experienced by the head. The lack of effective commercially-available systems resulted in the PNG undertaking the development of a custom hardware platform that allows real-time telemetry. This project focuses on the analysis of various designs for an effective hardware platform intended specifically for use in contact-sport settings. The analysis investigates both commercially available systems and previous hardware platform design efforts by the PNG. Essential design criteria which influenced current platform design are discussed, including special hardware features and preliminary device benchmarks. The work is concluded with the most optimal hardware platform design achieved to date, and recommendations for expansion of the developed platform.