NATO say it has tapped into its pool of defence scientists – the largest such network in the world – to support the COVID-19 emergency response.
The NATO Chief Scientist, Dr Bryan Wells, has just launched the ‘NATO Chief Scientist Challenge’, calling for solutions in virus detection, improved situational awareness, decontamination, resilience and the post-COVID-19 future.
The Challenge was reportedly sent out to over 6000 scientists in NATO’s network.
“Proposals, from research articles to prototypes, are expected by the end of April.  Working with NATO Allies, partners and staff, the Office of the Chief Scientist will help turn the best proposals into reality.
The NATO Science and Technology Organization supports the COVID-19 response in other ways as well. It has set up a classified collaborative platform where scientists from Allied and partner nations can share contributions to the crisis response. Exchange of knowledge and potential solutions is also facilitated by the NATO Collaboration Support Office in Paris, which coordinates relevant research, including virtual reality scenarios for emergency medical care, reducing the lifespan of viruses by treating surfaces and fabrics with polymer coating, laser testing of saliva samples, etc.”

Finally, NATO say it is using the capabilities of its own laboratory, the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation in La Spezia, which conducts new research in big data analytics, modelling and simulation for decision-making.

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Just saw on flightglobal, the ACA (Aviation Clean Air) cabin purifier. If I have read it right, it uses bipolar ionization to kill airborne viruses. It is certified on business jets for billionaires. Is said to be suitable for passenger planes. Might be a way to bring airlines back before they go bust. Perhaps suitable for RAF Voyager as long as AirTanker is not greedy on mark up.


I thought the majority of the risk was from contact? Maybe just Ryan Air but the aircon was never up to much, so hard to see it doing much in way of sucking up bugs.


Well, I don’t think there will be a single magic bullet. It will take a variety of things, to get back to (near) normal.


Sadly possibly not re contact/airborne. There’s research out now (been around for a few weeks) that suggests that as well as the big droplets, the ones that many of us have probably seen in those yucky slo-mo videos of test subjects coughing, some researchers also claim to have observed much smaller microscopic aerosol droplets that can linger in the air possibly with active virus for some time – up to 3 hours is a number I’ve seen quoted a few times but I’ve also seen 6 hours mentioned. I don’t know how widely such research has been peer reviewed and… Read more »


Perfect may be the enemy of good enough. Perfect may stop the planes flying long enough for the airlines & the airports to go bust. This ACA mechanism of ionization for inactivating airborne virus has been independently tested as being effective against TB, C. difficille, Noro Virus, MRSA, Staph, mold spores, E coli, Legionella. There was a fuss a few years ago, when a third world economy passenger managed to infect the cabin with TB, including high powered American execs in business class. If passenger temp is taken at the entrance to the airport, then obvious C-19 can be stopped… Read more »


“Perfect may be the enemy of good enough. Perfect may stop the planes flying long enough for the airlines & the airports to go bust.”

That’s an extremely good point, and one that will probably need to be applied to many areas when considering how to craft whatever our “new normal” becomes. Consider my outlook duly adjusted. Thanks!