Today, the director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Robert Redfield, announced the coronavirus outbreak could reach its peak in the United States this week, paving way for the government to reopen back the country so people can go back to work. However, the worry on many people’s mind is their health and workplace safety when they return back to work. As such, the need for tools that can combat pathogens has never been greater. In spaces that are high risk for exposure to the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, sending humans to disinfect these areas is a significant health risk.
Digital Aerolus is a Lenexa, Kansas-based autonomous technology startup and developer of software and hardware for industrial drones. The company announced it has developed the first indoor drone with germicidal C-band ultraviolet (UVC) emitters at 265nm, created specifically to combat the spread of the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) virus with a 99% disinfection rate. It is the first remote and mobile disinfection method for essential businesses.
Using its patented technologies, the Aertos 120-UVC combines industrial drone technology with powerful UVC emitters, allowing essential businesses to rapidly deploy disinfection tactics remotely, without putting humans at risk. Digital Aerolus’ drones do not require GPS or external sensors to fly indoors, enabling drones to operate stably in places other drones cannot go, including small and confined spaces.
The Aertos 120-UVC flies above a surface that it illuminates using 36 optically intense 265 NM LED UVC lights. At 6 feet above a surface and just 5 minutes, this is enough UVC intensity to provide a greater than 99% disinfection rate of a 2 meter by 2 meter surface. These drones are scheduled to be available in volume in May.
In general, UVC energy disinfection sources are large, cost-prohibitive or impractical to deploy. The benefit of the Aertos 120-UVC is that it allows more organizations to deploy UVC disinfecting tactics quickly. The Digital Aerolus team developed the Aertos 120-UVC drone as a tool to help essential businesses needing immediate and practical access to UVC disinfection technology during the pandemic. However, we believe that our world after the pandemic will be changed, and there will be a greater need for disinfection tools.
COVID-19 is a new virus related to other well-characterized viruses. At this time, the CDC continues to develop broad disinfection guidelines for this virus. Recent research and protocols indicate that UVC energy centered around the 265 NM wavelength is useful for COVID-19 disinfection.
The Aertos flying drone has other operational use cases. It is also used to by police, fire, and emergency responder departments, inspection and warehousing operations, and many other applications.