The primary objective of this research was to develop a reliable method to monitor and control air quality within a wide-body aircraft cabin. To achieve this objective, a long-term systematic experimental and computational research plan is developed. This paper deals with the description and results from an experimental study conducted to determine the best sensor placement locations within the aircraft cabin to detect particulates, and identify the minimum number of sensors necessary to accurately track air quality incidents. An 11-row mockup cabin, intended to be representative of a typical wide-body aircraft, was used for the research. The mockup interior is based on the actual dimensions of the Boeing 767 aircraft cabin. Inside the mockup cabin, actual aircraft equipment including seats and air diffusers are used. Each row has seven passenger seats. Particulates were released from different locations in the second row of the mockup cabin. The transported particles were then collected at six different locations in the lateral direction. The best location to place a sensor was defined as the location having the strongest signal detection (maximum number of particles collected) and the fastest detection time. For the six locations examined, it was found that the best location for the placement of a sensor in the 11-row mockup cabin, in the lateral direction, was on the center-line near the cabin floor. Subsequently, particles were collected at the corresponding longitudinal locations from rows 1, 3, 4, and 5 to determine the signal strength and the detection time for each row. Furthermore, particles were released from row 6 and detection characteristics were examined by collecting particles from row 6 and adjacent rows, i.e., row 5 and row 7. Based on the results from above two-series of tests, it was concluded that a properly placed sensor can accurately detect particles from the corresponding release-row as well as one adjacent row ahead and behind the release-row.

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