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Indoor Air. 2009 Feb;19(1):3-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2008.00553.x.

A one-dimensional analytical model for airborne contaminant transport in airliner cabins.

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National Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Research in the Intermodal Transport Environment, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2088, USA.


Quick information on airborne infectious disease transmission in airliner cabins is essential to reduce the risk of infection of passengers and crew members. This investigation proposed a one-dimensional analytical model that can predict the longitudinal transmission of airborne contaminants or disease viruses inside an airliner cabin. The model considered both diffusive and convective transport of contaminants in the longitudinal direction of the cabin but assumed complete mixing of contaminants in the cabin cross-section. The effect of recirculation of the cabin air and efficiency of the high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters is also considered in the model. The analytical solution for the one-dimensional contaminant transport model is obtained by using the principle of superposition and the method of separation of variables. The analytical solutions agree well with the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) results. The coupling of a CFD model with the one-dimensional analytical model could capture the impact of local airflow on contaminant transport. This analytical model has been used for analyzing contaminant transport in a 30-row all-economy-class airliner cabin with minimal computing effort.


The paper presents a new one-dimensional analytical model that can provide quick information on global airborne contaminant transmissions in airliner cabins for effective response plans. The model can be used to study the effects of air exchange rates, recirculation, efficiency of the high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and longitudinal airflow on airborne contaminant transport in airliner cabins with minimal computing effort.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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