Could this invisible air shield protect fliers from coronavirus transmission?

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jun 20, 2020, 05:47 PM(IST)

AirShield (Courtesy: Teague) Photograph:( WION )

Story highlights

Seattle-based technology company Teague says the device enhances air flows that help minimise the spread of germs on board, creating an invisible 'shield' around passengers.

A new device that fits on to the existing air vents inside an airplane cabin could help reduce the risk of inflight coronavirus transmission.

The simple device is called AirShield.

Seattle-based technology company Teague says the device enhances air flows that help minimise the spread of germs on board, creating an invisible 'shield' around passengers.

AirShield is a 3D-printed component that fits onto the Passenger Service Unit above each passenger in an airplane cabin. The unit usually contains a reading light and vents, known as air gaspers, which send air downward onto the seat occupant.

AirShield sculpts the flow into blades that ensure any respiratory droplets are retained within a single passenger's space, and shouldn't be breathed in by the occupant of a neighbouring seat.

The passenger can control the direction and velocity of the air that's blasting onto them in the same way that they can also decide if they want their light on or off.

Normally, air on board a passenger plane is fed in through the top of the cabin and then extracted by floor vents to be fed through high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filters that take out 99.9% of microbial content.

This makes the air that's coming back through the gaspers freshly purified.

AirShield is the latest in a slew of designs aim to reassure returning fliers in the wake of the pandemic. It received patent clearance earlier this month.


 

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