The smart air purity platform, known as Aura, was developed by Aura Air. The collaboration will see the solution rolled out across commercial vessels and cruise ships in crew and passenger rooms to help purify air. The physical and mental wellbeing of onboard crew and passengers can be severely affected by poor air quality and studies have found that lower quality air can lead to poor cognitive abilities and depression.
With the current COVID-19 situation, there is a need not only to enhance crew safety and welfare but to do so in a smart way. The Aura system can change its operations based on everchanging environmental factors and can be monitored both from the vessel and from the HQ. The data-driven air quality platform is based on a user behaviour algorithm and has the ability to be integrated with other IoT devices onboard.
Aura filters and disinfects air through 4 unique stages.
Through 4 steps the smart air quality platform detects poor air quality and recommends how it can be improved.
Step 1 – Detection. Aura detects indoor and outdoor air quality via real-time monitoring through an array of smart sensors. Substances such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter, and many more pollutants are detected.
Step 2 - User personalisation. In the second step, the unique air quality assistant Heidy personalises the Aura device precisely to meet an individual’s needs and health necessities. After completing the Heidy questionnaire, the Aura device provides relevant recommendations, customising the device based on the individual’s personal profile.
Step 3 - Filter and disinfection. Aura filters and disinfects air through four stages. A pre-filter eliminates large particles of dust, pollen, insects, animal hair and other large particles first. The patented Ray filter filters filters 99.98 per cent of microns up to 0.3 microns. The carbon layer absorbs VOCs and bad odours, while the smart copper fabric filters viruses, bacteria, and more. The Sterionizer is a component based on the technology of bipolar ionization and generates positive and negative ions that purify and freshen indoor air by eliminating the harmful pollutants. UVC LEDs are used to effectively neutralise bacteria, viruses, and parasites by destroying the proteins on the cell membrane.
Step 4 - Data and real-time control. The air quality data is monitored in real-time to provide smart insights and customised recommendations. Energy efficiency is enhanced by the distribution of fresh air according to CO2 real-time measurements. Based on the data, the air conditioning can be adjusted according to the presence of people in the room.
Gizat confirmed to Digital Ship that the company has now started offering the solution to its maritime partners, and so far, the feedback has been positive.
Heidy is the air quality assistant that personalises the Aura device to suit various needs and health necessities.
COVID-19 and Aura
Recently, the Diamond Princess cruise ship experienced a severe infection of the Coronavirus as it passed through the air conditioning system. According to The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine there were 454 confirmed cases of Coronavirus onboard. Among the 3,711 passengers and crew onboard, there were 621 (17 per cent) symptomatic and asymptomatic people with positive COVID-19 tests. Preventing the spread of such a virus is vital to the wellbeing of the cruise line’s staff and passengers.
According to Gizat, the development of Aura came as a request from the SHIBA medical centre. The centre wanted a device to purify air from all kinds of bacteria and polluted hazards in hospital facilities. Since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, demand for the system to purify air from the virus increased.
In August 2019, Aura Smart Air performed a trial in collaboration with The Department of General and Oncological Surgery at The Chaim Sheba Medical Centre in the implementation of air purifiers for the purpose of disinfecting and purifying the air from various pollutants.
According to a white paper published in July 2020, initial results showed significant ability for Aura to capture various bacteria. Gizat therefore decided to use its previous experimental results obtained in collaboration with Aura Smart Air, to obtain a Coronavirus and built a model to test devices for their ability to filter or eliminate the virus.
In May 2020, the company began a clinical experiment to test the effectiveness of Aura Air’s disinfection capabilities on the Coronavirus as part of its strategic, long-term collaboration. The aim of the trial was to quantify the properties of the Aura Smart Air device to purify air contaminated by a Coronavirus similar in size with the SARS-CoV_2.
These early but promising results provide the basis for more advanced experiments studying the performance of the Aura Smart Air device in closed spaces.
Key Aura stats
Air exchanges per hour: 2.5
Voltage: 110-240 V
Format: Wall or ceiling
Wireless communication: WiFi
Height: 15 inch/ 15 inch / 6 inch
Weight: 7.7 Ibs / 3.5 Kg
Max noise level: 64 dB
Recommended room size: 600 ft 2