DNW Aero

Visualization of aerosols: Potential role of COVID-19 virus transmission via small droplets

12 Jul 2020

The intelligent lockdown is gradually being lifted by the authorities. The measures to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus focus on good hygiene practices (hand washing) and social distancing (staying 1.5 metres apart) to protect against large droplets exhaled.

Studies have shown that viruses in micro droplets (aerosols), released during exhalation, talking, and coughing, remain airborne for quite some time and thus pose a potential health risk. Also, the World Health Organisation WHO acknowledges that 'evidence is emerging' of airborne spread of COVID-19. As a member of the ’Beyond 1.5m Science’ consortium, DNW has proven its expertise in the field of simulating and visualizing airflow in aeronautics. An experimental set-up, consisting of a nebulizer generating fluorescent droplets connected to the TUDelft SenseLab respiratory system and mannequin head, has been designed by DNW. It can support answering questions related to virus transmission via small droplets in the fields of indoor ventilation (like classroom or aircraft cabin) and the use of community masks in public spaces.

breathing mannequin 2