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Did you know that more than 3 billion people travel by air annually? Did you also know that diseases can spread with ease throughout an airplane cabin? Raymond Wang, a seventeen-year-old and member of Canada’s “20 Under 20,” has created an invention in order to create a healthier airflow throughout planes during travel.

When it came to the H1N1 virus, one person with the disease boarded an aircraft and it spread to 17 other people. As for the disease SARS, one person was infected and ended up spreading the disease to 22 other people on just a three-hour flight.

The problem with situations like this is that these diseases are very difficult to screen. Therefore, there needs to be a new way to promote safety in aircraft travel. Airplanes may come with built-in filters in order to vacate the aircraft of pathogens, yet the efficiency of the filters is not strong enough. According to Wang, if a person sneezes the air gets swirled around multiple times before going through a filter in the cabin. This is particularly dangerous for severe airborne illnesses such as influenza, SARS, tuberculosis, measles and even ebola, which can be spread through large droplets.

In order to fix this issue, Wang built a device called Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). He began by putting 2D drawings in 3D model software and inserting large quantities of physics into the system. Wang conducted more than 32 stimulations in order to make sure his invention was efficient. He ended up creating “installation points” that resulted in a better air controlled cabin.

In order to learn more about Wang’s invention and to see just how it’s put to use, check out his TEDTalk below!

 

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