Modern gas mask filters use charcoal and very fine membranes to capture harmful particles from a threat. Most filters have a limited lifespan and provide very little protection from biological contaminants. Schedules for changing filters are ambiguous, relying on the user to know exposure times and contamination levels.
This Navy innovation addresses this problem by using an active filter system. A sensor detects a biological hazard, and then activates a combination of UV-C light and an ionized silver nanoparticle grid to trap and neutralize the threat. The system can be powered by an onboard battery pack or from an external power source. The device is designed to be retrofitted in standard gas masks, but the technology can be expanded to other air purification applications. Those may include use in emergency response, hazardous labs, infectious disease control, and other medical settings.
- Protection from biological agents, extended operational life of a gas mask, active threat sensing
- Patent No., 8,567,403 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Navy researchers