Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering and Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Jeremy M. Slagley, PhD


The United States Air Force has high volume biological air sampling equipment available including the XMX/2L-MIL and DFU-1000. Neither system has been evaluated for effectiveness in the collection of viruses. Furthermore, decontamination methods have not been evaluated for these systems after use in sampling for a viral agent. MS2 bacteriophage was used as a surrogate virus. Aerosolized MS2 was released into a 12 m3 exposure chamber. High and moderate airborne concentrations of MS2 were evaluated. Low volume impingers were used for comparative purposes as well. Samples were analyzed using plaque assay and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). At high viral loads the XMX/2L-MIL and DFU-1000 achieved collection effectiveness equal to or greater than the low volume impingers. At moderate levels of airborne viral load, the XMX/2L-MIL was capable of collecting viral quantities within 25% of the quantities collected by the low volume impingers. The DFU-1000 achieved marginal collection effectiveness of virus at moderate concentrations compared to the XMX/2L-MIL and is considered to be unreliable in the quantification of viral agent at moderate levels and below. The DFU-1000 and XMX/2L-MIL were capable of collecting detectable MS2 with PCR analysis at all concentrations. Ten percent sodium hypochlorite (commercial bleach) solution effectively decontaminated MS2.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number