U.S. Air Force Research Laboratories
Promo Afrl1

Can Coronavirus Stand the Heat?

June 13, 2020
The use of standard ground heaters at Air Force hangars may be a way to make surfaces safe from the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is investigating the role of higher temperatures in the interiors of military planes to minimize the threat of the COVID-19 coronavirus and other biological contaminants. Researchers from the AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing are exploring the use of standard ground heaters to boost the interior temperature of a C-17 aircraft enough to kill viral agents such as the COVID-19 coronavirus that has fueled the recent pandemic.

“Our goal with this test was to demonstrate the ability for any Air Force base to assist with aircraft disinfection utilizing only commonly available equipment and materials,” said Doug Lewis, 711th Human Performance Wing Protection Systems Team Lead, who is heading the anti-viral aircraft heating efforts. “We knew that if we could prove the ability of this equipment to heat aircraft interiors to temperatures in the +120°F range, we were potentially demonstrating an Air Force wide disinfection capability, pending further laboratory results.”

As part of two separate measurement experiments conducted at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, Lewis and his research team placed sensors and test equipment inside a C-17 aircraft and sealed the aircraft using materials common to military installations. Hoses from the heaters were directed inside the aircraft and the temperature was raised over a period of six hours to as much as 50°F above the ambient temperature (see figure). In working with the Battelle Memorial Institute (Columbus, OH), preliminary results indicate that the temperatures were high enough to disable the coronavirus on the surfaces of a variety of materials, including aluminum, silicon, and nylon webbing. Lewis and his team will continue to work with Battelle in the hopes of learning more about the effects of heating on COVID-19 and how different temperatures and exposure times may be applied. 

Sponsored Recommendations

Getting Started with Python for VNA Automation

April 19, 2024
The video goes through the steps for starting to use Python and SCPI commands to automate Copper Mountain Technologies VNAs. The process of downloading and installing Python IDC...

Can I Use the VNA Software Without an Instrument?

April 19, 2024
Our VNA software application offers a demo mode feature, which does not require a physical VNA to use. Demo mode is easy to access and allows you to simulate the use of various...

Introduction to Copper Mountain Technologies' Multiport VNA

April 19, 2024
Modern RF applications are constantly evolving and demand increasingly sophisticated test instrumentation, perfect for a multiport VNA.

Automating Vector Network Analyzer Measurements

April 19, 2024
Copper Mountain Technology VNAs can be automated by using either of two interfaces: a COM (also known as ActiveX) interface, or a TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) socket interface...