Boeing has licensed patents and technology for an ultraviolet (UV) wand designed to kill the Covid-19 virus in aircraft interiors. Under the licensing deal, Florida-based Healthe will manufacture the Boeing-designed UV wand, which uses LED working at 222nm.
"The UV wand is designed to be more effective than similar devices. It quickly disinfects surfaces on an airplane and further strengthens other layers of protection for passengers and crew," said Mike Delaney, who leads Boeing's Confident Travel Initiative (CTI). "Boeing spent six months transforming an idea for the wand into a working model, and Healthe will now take that prototype and make it available to the world at large."
The self-contained apparatus that resembles a carry-on suitcase, crews can pass UV light over high-touch surfaces, sanitizing everywhere the light reaches to kill the Covid-19 virus. The UV wand is particularly effective in compact spaces and sanitizes a flight deck in less than 15 minutes.
The safe use of UV LEDs for Covid-19 cleaning is of increasing concern in consumer systems, rather than commercial systems with trained operators such as the Boeing wand.
Healthe will produce and distribute the commercial wand, helping airlines and potentially others combat the coronavirus pandemic. The technology could be available for airlines in the next couple of months. The device is an addition to sanitizing and protective measures already in place, which include the use of high-efficiency particulate air filters that trap more than 99.9 percent of particulates and prevent them from re-circulating back to the cabin.
"As we ramp up deployment of our cutting-edge UVC and Far-UVC 222 light solutions across many sectors, this new commercial-grade wand will be another powerful tool in the sanitization arsenal to protect passengers against the spread of harmful viruses," said Abe Morris, ececutive chairman of Healthe. "This could also benefit schools, hospitals, offices, wherever pathogens go."
As part of CTI, Boeing solicited feedback from multiple industry sources, with Etihad Airways as the first to evaluate the device.