In a short period of time Brett Huhman, in NRL’s Plasma Physics Division, reconfigured a laboratory space, conferred with subject matter experts across the NRL Materials Science and Component Technology directorate, and borrowed needed equipment to establish a UV characterization laboratory.
“Testing at NRL includes UV unit longevity and reliability, identifying easy-to-use dosimeters, reflections from shipboard surfaces, and secondary ozone generation from these UV systems,” Huhman said. “Scientists at other Navy labs are using NRL data to help them test efficacy against viral loads on Navy and Marine relevant surfaces, such as bare metal tools and painted metal surfaces, and cardboard boxes.”
There are numerous companies offering products that produce UV light and are designed for a variety of small and large-scale applications. The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) requested NRL scientists to study and characterize the energy density, UV spectrum, and reliability of commercially available units.
“As the Navy wishes to quickly evaluate the efficacy of these commercial sources before procurement, a small investment was deemed necessary, in order to help the Navy ‘verify before we buy,’” said Joseph Schumer, branch head for NRL’s pulsed power physics group and program manager. “We have learned a lot about the reliability of commercial sources.”