Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
Title: Disinsection: evolution of the air curtain in the last year Author
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 24, 2013
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Certain countries require disinsection of commercial aircraft from overseas flights before passengers and crews disembark. Currently acceptable method: spray aircraft interior with pesticides. One of the problems with this is that passengers and crew are exposed to pesticides. There are pesticide sensitivity issues Insect mortality is not usually 100%, even in trials with caged insects. To conduct our early air curtain studies, two simulated jet way/fuselage mock-ups were fabricated from adjacent rooms in corrugated aluminum sheds. Air curtains were positioned at the door between the two rooms and mosquitoes and house flies were released in the simulated jet way while the air curtains were turned on. All (100%) of the flies and 99% of the mosquitoes were prevented from passing from the jet way into the ‘aircraft fuselage’. An airflow of = 4m/sec was recorded in 25-50% of airflow measurements. Very soon we realized that some form of door protection would be needed for the doors other than the passenger boarding door. These rear and starboard side door are often open while aircraft are on the ground and service crews are entering and leaving the planes. We began experimenting with a net door that would be easily opened and self closing. Several models had been made by a cooperating company and evaluated on Delta aircraft. The air curtain system, consisting of air curtains at the passenger boarding door and net door covering other open doors, was tested several times in commercial situations, including at Orlando International Airport and Accra International Airport, Acra, Ghana. Results were very positive but we had no commercial versions of either the air curtains or the net doors. Now we have both. Joint companies in Canada and Montana designed and built a prototype air curtain for use on aircraft. The unit was shipped to Gainesville and evaluated at USDA facilities in June, 2013. In our first 6 tests, the air curtain prototype prevented 92 and 97% of the flies and mosquitoes, respectively, from passing into the simulated fuselage. In December, 2013, a patent disclosure was filed by USDA and a private company on a commercial model of a net door to be used with the air curtain system. The door is still being updated and the version ready for commercial use was evaluated in Atlanta, GA, at Delta’s facilities in September, 2013. Thus the system is on its way to being commercialized. We feel this technique could be adapted by the commercial aircraft industry and the military to reduce or eliminate dependence on pesticides.