U.S. Army approves aircraft decontamination kit development

The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center announced on Tuesday it will develop a Rapid Detect-Identity-Decontaminate Kit designed to decontaminate biological or chemical threats on an aircraft.

The challenge for the design team will be using effective, yet also gentle detection methods that will not damage electronics or other aircraft equipment. The team will be targeting spore-forming bacteria for decontamination methods.

The project will be funded by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which allows government and military research laboratories to tax customers 3 percent to fund research projects. The proposal was chosen for its innovation, collaboration and potential use in the Warfighter. It was one of nine projects to successfully meet ECBC's Threat Goal Team objectives for funding.

"The beauty of the project is its potential to expand the concept to build decon kits for toxins, bacterial spores, bacterial vegetative cells and viruses," ECBC Biologist Debbie Menking said. "We have tested a decon technology that we know is effective against all three classes of organisms."

The project will begin by conducting its experiments this summer from June through August. A final report will be released in September, after which ECBC hopes to catch an organization's attention to generate funding that will move the kit from concept to application.