This project investigated the use of electrostatically charged aerosol decontamination (ECAD) to restore rail transit facilities in the event of a chemical or biological release. The application of this approach to a large, complex facility, such as a rail transit station and subway tunnel, presents a challenge to both the delivery system and the decontamination agent. This project addressed the critical initial stage development and validation of an automated delivery system (ECADS) in providing effective decontamination coverage in subway stations. Foster-Miller Inc. developed the requirements for a large-scale, automated system to provide subway station and subway tunnel decontamination, developed a concept model to meet those requirements, and conducted static tests at a selected Metrorail station to determine ECADS nozzle effectiveness in the transit facility environment and to identify performance enhancements. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) participated in this project by assisting in developing the requirements (needs statements) for such a system for Metrorail stations, provided technical guidance, and participated in the prototype testing in their transit system.
In addition to the delivery capability, another key element of the "system" is the decontaminant itself. Foster-Miller has utilized a number of "decontaminants" with the ECAD capability, including bleach-based reagents for chemical decontamination and unique biocides. Foster-Millerhas also looked into the use of other reagent systems.
The goal is to find the decontaminate that is effective against a variety of chemical and biological agents and is simultaneously safe to personnel, equipment, and facilities. Foster-Miller investigated a range of chemical and biological agents that are either commercially available or in development.
This project is divided into three main stages:
n Stage 1: Problem Definition and State-of-the-Art Assessment.
n Stage 2: Conceptual System Design.
n Stage 3: Validation Demonstration.
This project evaluated the concept of a track-mounted decontamination capability that could be readily deployed in the event of a chemical or biological agent release. Follow-on work would be needed to develop a prototype system. The participation of WMATA in this project and the stated interest in the ECADS capability for transit decontamination and disinfection applications by other transit agencies and port authorities, such as Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), and Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH), will aid in the deployment of this system after it is evaluated.
The contractor's final report can be located at: