Boeing, WSU students collaborate on new system to disinfect planes

Nov 2, 2021, 1:37 PM | Updated: Nov 3, 2021, 8:09 am
airplane sanitation...
(Photo by Guillermo Legaria/Getty Images)
(Photo by Guillermo Legaria/Getty Images)

Passengers worried about airplane cabin sanitation and their increased exposure to disease might soon have less cause for concern.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines are looking for faster and more efficient methods to disinfect planes between flights. New technology to facilitate that process might be developed by students at Washington State University.

In conjunction with Boeing, a team of students from WSU and Clemson University in South Carolina are developing autonomous systems to rapidly disinfect airplane interiors. They’re denoted as “CATTS” (Cougars and Tigers Together).

Boeing has foot the bill for travel and project expenditures, totaling $12,500, as reported by the Everett Herald.

More issues for Boeing with possible new safety concerns over 767, 757 planes

Boeing recently released a report that detailed their finding on electrostatic sprayers, devices which uniformly and quickly spray a mist of disinfectant throughout a cabin. As a result of that finding, Boeing’s research team has announced plans to recommend to airlines how to incorporate the technology into their planes.

The course, which is offered as a capstone project with WSU’s Everett campus, suggests that the group is interested in other, alternative solutions to this problem of how to efficiently disinfect planes such that more airline patrons are comfortable travelling in an enclosed space, breathing recycled air. Beyond electrostatic sprayers, the course suggests that they are exploring UV radiation as a way to destroy bacteria and viruses.

The group is comprised of those studying engineering, computer science, communications, management, and marketing. They will make a final presentation with their results in April 2022.

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Boeing, WSU students collaborate on new system to disinfect planes