Aerosol Testing & Evaluation Laboratory

Located in Drexel, Missouri, just south of Kansas City, InnovaPrep supports Aerosol Research with the Alburty Aerosol Testing & Evaluation Laboratory. Our associates and specialized facilities combine to help our customers develop and improve their products.We use a combination of computer aided design (CAD), computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and laboratory hardware to assist our customers during the design, confirmation testing, product improvement, and validation stages of pre-production, biological threat detection systems.

The laboratories include a fully instrumented reversible aerosol wind tunnel, aerosol chamber, wet chemistry, and microbiology facilities.


Our combination wind tunnel with 2,700 liter aerosol test chamber (ATC) is perfect for Testing and Evaluation (T&E) as applied to development of small and mid-sized aerosol and bioaerosol sampling and test equipment. Our scientists and engineers have tested inlet systems and samplers operating from 1 LPM to 450 LPM in wind conditions from ambient to 70 mph.

Benefits of Doing Aerosol Studies

Understanding the performance of aerosol samplers provides developers with data to improve their performance through iteration by understanding particle loss points and transmission optimization. We welcome collaboration with developers on such applications.

Validation of aerosol collectors can then be expanded to include detection and identification systems and help match collectors with appropriate system components.The wind tunnel allows this process to extend further upstream to include aerosol inlets for use in windy conditions or for mobile platforms and UAVs.

Aerosol Operating Parameters

The aerosol wind tunnel can be configured for high or low wind speed testing. High speed testing is used for T&E during prototyping and design validation for samplers to be mounted on mobile platforms or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). As an example use case, this was performed for the Navy’s ScanEagle where a novel aerosol collector was independently tested for size selective particle segregation and efficiency. Low speed testing is used to simulate simultaneous sampling at multiples sites for plume detection.

The wind tunnel motor, fan, and controls are configurable:

  • Airflow to be reversed, if desired
  • Speeds up to 90 MPH can be briefly attained
  • Speeds up to 70 MPH can be sustained
  • The chamber can be configured as a still air test chamber by closing off the ends of chamber with high efficiency air filters. This allows the air in the chamber to be quickly purged and filtered simply by running the wind tunnel fan at low speed. The entire volume of the wind tunnel (27,000L) can then be utilized as a still-air aerosol chamber.
  • Aerosol mixing fans and equipment inside the test section can be operated remotely, if desired
Aerosol test chamber

Sampling and Sample Prep and Controls

We can aerosolize multiple sizes or types of particles simultaneously or separately according to test requirements. Innovaprep can also disseminate viable biological simulants representing threat agents

Particle Types and Test Approach

Aerosol particles for test are generated using several different instruments and methods as appropriate.

Types of Particles Available:
Bio-aerosol testing can be done with: BSL-1 organisms and spores, surrogate organisms, fluorescent tracer particles, calibrated microspheres, background dust, and with an outdoor air background. Arizona Road Dust and other interferents are commonly used to evaluate detection system performance. If you have a particle of interest to test, just ask.

Note: We do not aerosolize BSL-2 materials or chemical hazard materials, or work with hazardous gases.  Particle size ranges that can be disseminated are from 10 nm and up; particle size can only be accurately measured from 0.3 – 20 microns.

Particle Dissemination:

Particle Measuring:
Aerosol concentrations are monitored using  aerodynamic particle sizers (TSI 3321 for example) and referee samplers serve as gold standards in aerosol collection.

Particle Types and Test Approach

Aerosol generator

Aerosol Generator:
The InnovaPrep Pitt-3 instrument is excellent for dry dissemination of tough-to-use particles, including fibers.  This unique generator disperses fibers and powders using a combination of acoustic waves and gas flow matched with a vertical elutriator to create a defined and repeatable aerosol dissemination.

Benefits: can’t clog, doesn’t require dissolving materials/particles of interest in a liquid or solvent, ASTM method E2894, Standard Method for Applying Aerosolized Bacillus Spores as Dry Inocula to Inanimate Surfaces.

Publications: Harnish, D. et. al. (2014): Standard method for deposition of dry, aerosolized, silica-coated Bacillus spores onto inanimate surfaces; J. Appl.Micro doi:10.1111/jam12509Birch, Eileen, and Bon Ki Ku (2015): Aerosolization of Carbon Nanotubes Using an Acoustic Generator: Particle Generation and Properties; TechConnect Briefs (1), Advanced Materials 585-587

Controls and Reference Samplers

Reference Instrumentation – Several samplers are available as needed. Work with us to establish a test plan!

Selected referee samplers are used to collect duplicate samples for confirmation of aerosol concentrations and appropriate size distribution. Isokinetic sampling using special probes is used to confirm aerosols at different wind speeds.

Available Referee samplers include: Reference filters,  impactors, SKC Biosamplers, AGI-30 impingers, Andersen 6-stage viable samplers and slit-to-agar samplers.  Aerodynamic particle size is determined using a TSI-3321

Creating Your Test Plan

Design and Testing Process Support
We use Computation Fluid Dynamics modeling (CFD) of dynamic aerosol and non-aerosol related systems.  CFD is commonly used in the aeronautical and aerospace industries and it is a powerful tool to predict fluid flows in any physical environment.  We have used CFD for design iteration of aerosol sampling systems and inlets, predicting aerosol drug delivery, effects of design changes for nebulizers and designing unique aerosol containment systems.   Our team of engineers can help you design and derive key critical data.  

The benefits of computer modeling applied to the iterative design and testing process include:

Inlet CFD Mesh

CFD Mesh

Particle trajectories and velocities

Particle Trajectories and Velocities

Contact Us

InnovaPrep’s aerosol testing and evaluation (T&E) capabilities are available on a contract basis.