Large-scale 3D flow investigations around a cyclically breathing thermal manikin in a 12 m³ room using HFSB and STB
Keywords:Shake-The-Box, Lagrangian Particle Tracking, COVID-19, HFSB, particle dispersion
Exhalation of small aerosol droplets and their transport, dispersion and (local) accumulation in closed rooms have been identified as the main pathway for indirect or airborne respiratory virus transmission from person to person, e.g. for SARS-CoV 2 or measles (Morawska and Cao 2020). Understanding airborne transport mechanisms of viruses via small bio-aerosol particles inside closed populated rooms is an important key factor for optimizing various mitigation strategies (Morawska et al. 2020), which can play an important role for damping the infection dynamics of any future and the ongoing present pandemic scenario, which unfortunately, is still threatening due to the spreading of several SARS-CoV2 variants of concern, e.g. delta (Kupferschmidt and Wadman 2021). Therefore, a large-scale 3D Lagrangian Particle Tracking experiment using up to 3 million long lived and nearly neutrally buoyant helium-filled soap bubbles (HFSB) with a mean diameter of ~ 370 µm as passive tracers in a 12 m³ generic test room has been performed, which allows to fully resolve the Lagrangian transport properties and flow field inside the whole room around a cyclically breathing thermal manikin (Lange et al. 2012) with and without mouth-nose-masks and shields applied. Six high-resolution CMOS streaming cameras, a large array of powerful pulsed LEDs have been used and the Shake-The-Box (STB) (Schanz et al. 2016) Lagrangian particle tracking algorithm has been applied in this experimental study of internal flows in order to gain insight into the complex transient and turbulent aerosol particle transport and dispersion processes around seated breathing persons.
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