FAR UV light system upgrades for wing

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jessica Roles
  • 189th Airlift Wing

     Due to the high success rate of the initial FAR UV installation throughout the Department of Defense, AFWERX recently awarded an additional $1M to the FAR UV company’s production program, enabling them to engineer an updated version of the FAR UV light system. The new system now features replaceable bulbs, motion sensing, built-in startup checks, and end-of-life indicators.

    Over the past few years, UV lights have been installed throughout the Arkansas Air National Guard campus buildings as well as in the 19th Medical Group as another way to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses. In April, the 189th Airlift Wing and Joint Force Headquarters were included in the $1M contract to receive new light systems throughout their campuses, lowering sustainment costs for the lamps and decreasing the need for regular maintenance. The new bulbs last for 9,000 hours and auto shut off after 30 minutes of inactivity in a room.

     “From my perspective, as we lean forward in preparation for a peer-level conflict, we have to explore every option to keep our Airmen ready to fight,” said Col. Seth Tolliver, the 189th Medical Group commander. “We won’t have the luxury of taking down time for forces to recover if we are called to arms.”

     UV lights have been commonplace in mobile commercial settings such as ambulances and aircraft, but the wing is still in the beginning stages of this idea when applied to mobile assets. Tolliver mentioned the future use of mobile UV technology for troops and assets in a deployed or mobile environment, expressing the benefits of UV technology in the field.

     “We’re able to expand this new technology outside the common work area with the new mobile Krypton Shield,” he said. “The benefit of the mobile technology is that it could be employed anywhere downrange that has the power to protect our assets supporting contingency operations, State Partnership Program events, or any other tasking where exposure to airborne pathogens could significantly degrade our fighting forces.”

     The device provides added value to any common area, exam room, or airspace where distancing cannot be easily and reliably maintained. Along with social distancing, mask-wearing, and other safety measures taken, it is complimentary of good hygiene and disinfection of common surfaces.