Investigation of cabin ventilation strategies impact on aircraft cabin air quality and passengers’ comfort and wellbeing through subject study in realistic aircraft environment (ComAir)
Speaker: Dr. Britta Herbig
Affiliation: Institute and Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine
Funding: 2018 to 2020
The impact of reducing outdoor air intake in the total volume of air supplied to an aircraft on cabin air quality, comfort and well-being of passengers will be investigated. Pollutants that have been measured in aircrafts and are likely to produce negative effects on passengers will be identified by reviewing published studies. The exposures to these pollutants will be reproduced during simulated flights in the Flight Test Facility low pressure vessel which is the mock-up of the actual airplane cabin. Realistic profiles of cabin pressure, noise and vibrations, temperature and relative humidity will be applied. Roundabout 600 subjects will be recruited representing cross-section of flight passengers. Different outdoor air supply rates will be simulated at varied occupation density in the cabin, one that is currently applied (baseline) and others that are lower. At lower outdoor air supply rates more air will be recirculated. During each flight simulation concentrations of air pollutants will be monitored and passengers will evaluate their comfort and well-being. Air quality will additionally be assessed by an impartial sensory panel who will briefly enter the cabin. Besides these measurements that are requested by the call, the air quality in the cabin will be monitored with the advanced low-cost air quality sensors, while the passengers physiological reactions are monitored. The results obtained in the simulated flights will be used to examine whether per person outdoor air intake can be reduced from the baseline without any negative effects on passengers, and if so by how much. They will also be used to propose pollutants that could potentially be monitored in the aircraft cabin for the purpose of controlling cabin air quality. Recommendations for the future revisions of standards pertaining to ventilation in aircraft cabins will be the major delivery.