Computational Modeling of the COVID‑19 Particle Spreading in the Airport Terminals

Korobenko, Artem | $50,000

Alberta The University of Calgary 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

In collaboration with Data and Analytics at the Calgary Airport Authority, the goal of this project is to apply high-fidelity computational modeling approach to assess the extent to which the coronavirus particles may spread through a given space (e.g. airport terminals or airplane cabins). In these environments the air flow patterns are very complex, and the empirical relations are likely will be outside the range of their applicability. The computational framework to be applied can accurately predict the behavior of multi-phase turbulent flows in complex confined spaces. In particular, different breathing modes, e.g. sneeze, cough and normal breathing, will be simulated from a single person and a group of people inside the spaces like airport terminals. The actual air conditioning systems will also be taken into account in the model in order to predict the behavior of the particles in the surrounding air and its deposition. The simulation will enable us to test the hypothesis of whether the current guidelines is a realistic estimate of a safe distance between the individuals. The numerical framework will help to identify the most likely places where the particles will accumulate, and recommendations could be made as to which surfaces need to be cleaned more often. The guidelines can be provided on how to place the staff members (e.g. at the gates or at the security check points) to minimize the likelihood of infection.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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