Flow and contaminant transport in an airliner cabin induced by a moving body: Model experiments and CFD predictions

Stephane B. Poussou, Sagnik Mazumdar, Michael W. Plesniak, Paul E. Sojka, Qingyan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of a moving human body on flow and contaminant transport inside an aircraft cabin were investigated. Experiments were performed in a one-tenth scale, water-based model. The flow field and contaminant transport were measured using the Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence (PLIF) techniques, respectively. Measurements were obtained with (ventilation case) and without (baseline case) the cabin environmental control system (ECS). The PIV measurements show strong intermittency in the instantaneous near-wake flow. A symmetric downwash flow was observed along the vertical centerline of the moving body in the baseline case. The evolution of this flow pattern is profoundly perturbed by the flow from the ECS. Furthermore, a contaminant originating from the moving body is observed to convect to higher vertical locations in the presence of ventilation. These experimental data were used to validate a Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) model. The CFD model can effectively capture the characteristic flow features and contaminant transport observed in the small-scale model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2830-2839
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Aircraft cabin
  • CFD
  • Contaminant transport
  • Human wake
  • PIV
  • PLIF
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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