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The Pressure Suit: Invented by MOM CEO Professor Chris Kemp

The Pressure Suit: Invented by MOM CEO Professor Chris Kemp

Introduction

Roskilde Festival funded the “Pressure Suit Project” for the International Centre for Crowd Management and Security Studies. The suit was to be used to complement the MOJO Barrier Pressure System (BLMS), which measured the pressure at the front of stage barrier.

Project Brief

The project was to research into the pressure at any given point in the crowd. The suit was built by Tim Coole, Geoff Lawday and Peter Harding, formerly of Bucks New University, and contained pressure sensors, temperature sensors, GPS and/or heart rate monitors. The research project findings were to be published and one outcome was that a training programme for stewards would be created so that they could identify areas of strain in the crowd that may lead to injury or death.

Issues

There were many issues with the suit the major one being the danger to those wearing the suit in the crowd in the front of stage area. Secondly the suit failure rate was initially high and thirdly having enough points to triangulate the results.

Outcomes

The pressure suit project was an unmitigated success with the results identifying a number of things that were unknown before the tests. These included the finding that the highest point of pressure was not at the barrier but 1-2 metres back where the initial and shockwaves met. Secondly that the temperature in the front of stage area could rise between 15 and 18 degrees in less than 45 minutes causing fainting and other issues. The final outcome was a documentary made for the BBC on the suit identifying the findings.