Innovation Lab of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) has designed and constructed two handheld ultraviolet-C LED disinfecting prototype devices.

The devices are currently being tested to analyse the effectiveness in killing Covid-19 virus on surfaces.

The innovation team collaborated with other technical organisations and became a part of the Naval Coronavirus Rapid Response Team (NCR2T) to tackle the pandemic.

PSNS & IMF Nuclear Project Engineering Code 2301 nuclear innovation programme manager Branden Doyle stated that a white paper of the Naval Nuclear Laboratories mentioned the potential of using UVC light technology as a sanitising solution.

Doyle said: “PSNS & IMF joined with Naval Systems Engineering Directorate (NAVSEA 05), the Naval Research Laboratory, the Naval Nuclear Laboratory, Naval Undersea Warfare Center-Newport, Naval Surface Warfare Center-Dahlgren and Naval Surface Warfare Center-Port Hueneme, among others, to find solutions to effectively kill the virus SARS-CoV-2.

“NCR2T is developing recommendations for fleet-wide solutions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and the PSNS & IMF Handheld UVC LED Disinfector may be one of those solutions.

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“A direct collaboration with NUWCNewport was formed to work together on future iterations of the PSNS & IMF handheld unit, which includes far-UVC (222nm) excimer lamp solutions.”

The team planned to construct devices with LED as other UVC surface sanitising devices sold commercially use mercury bulbs, which cannot be transported to all the parts of a naval vessel.

Currently, the team has sufficient parts for the construction of an additional ten handheld units. However, it is waiting for feedback from the current testing of the prototypes before moving ahead.