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USAF Hits the Racetrack and Boxing Ring: Air Force scientists and the Indy Racing League have been teaming to gather data about impact forces that may lead to advances in safety devices for military pilots. What is IRL’s part? According to the Air Force Research Lab, race car drivers are wearing “earplugs containing miniature accelerometers” to capture data when a driver crashes, So far, AFRL has documented more than 60 crashes, measuring “how the drivers’ heads accelerate” and collecting injury information from medical staff. The AFRL researchers have also gotten similar data from US Air Force Academy boxers wearing the earplugs. AFRL wants to develop an even better sensor—one that does not require batteries and recorders—and expand this effort to help develop protective gear to limit blast effects from such things as improvised explosive devices. AFRL is accepting proposals through Jan. 13.