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Challenge #76

Keeping travel safe in times of the pandemic.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is investigating how virus particles spread on planes and trains. The findings are contributing to a better understanding of the challenges of mobility in times of a pandemic and thus helping to identify viable solutions.

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Travel during the pandemic, especially air travel, triggers many concerns. Like many public spaces, airports and airplane interiors can be danger spots for contracting infectious diseases. In addition, when diseases are going around, airlines are severely affected by a short-term suspension of air traffic and subsequent hesitance of passengers to resume travel.

DLR research for safe air travel during a pandemic therefore includes:

  • Research on viral spread for the decontamination and sterilization of cabin air
  • Development of a reconfigurable, modular aircraft cabin design
  • simulation of passenger flows at airports
  • Modeling of different travel volume scenarios and their consequences
  • Integration of smart materials for quick and easy disinfection
  • Monitoring of passenger health using infrared cameras and sensors.

By implementing these economic stopgap concepts and hygiene measures, the aviation industry can prepare for the consequences of a pandemic.

(Photo: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0))

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