Impact of scaling and body movement on contaminant transport in airliner cabins

Sagnik Mazumdar, Stephane B. Poussou, Chao Hsin Lin, Sastry S. Isukapalli, Michael W. Plesniak, Qingyan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Studies of contaminant transport have been conducted using small-scale models. This investigation used validated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to examine if a small-scale water model could reveal the same contaminant transport characteristics as a full-scale airliner cabin. But due to similarity problems and the difficulty of scaling the geometry, a perfect scale up from a small water model to an actual air model was found to be impossible. The study also found that the seats and passengers tended to obstruct the lateral transport of the contaminants and confine their spread to the aisle of the cabin. The movement of a crew member or a passenger could carry a contaminant in its wake to as many rows as the crew member or passenger passed. This could be the reason why a SARS infected passenger could infect fellow passengers who were seated seven rows away. To accurately simulate the contaminant transport, the shape of the moving body should be a human-like model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6019-6028
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • Aircraft cabin
  • CFD
  • Contaminant transport
  • Dynamic grids
  • Moving body
  • SARS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of scaling and body movement on contaminant transport in airliner cabins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this