Test dummies are composed of several materials such as aluminum, silicone rubber, plastics, and stainless steel that have very different thermal properties. Therefore, a test temperature range specification must be made to ensure that thermal variations do not compromise the integrity of the actual dummy motion data. Several studies have proven in the past that dummies are in fact sensitive to temperature. Recently, an entire family of new dummies has been introduced. It is necessary to examine the thermal sensitivity of these new dummies to understand the response characteristics of each dummy. Because it is difficult to maintain a narrow temperature range during standardized safety tests like FMVSS 208, this research will determine the need for a tight tolerance for temperature.

The methodology for determining temperature sensitivity involves a three-step process. First, the time response of individual dummy components to environmental change is quantified. Secondly, dynamic component calibration tests are conducted in accordance with Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 572 at different temperatures. Finally, if, after the previous two steps, the dummy does not exhibit significant temperature sensitivity that warrants a tight temperature range during vehicle safety tests, full-scale sled tests or other test programs could be conducted to determine if such a range is necessary to maintain.