Dust - A Deadly Hazard in Space And On Earth Has Finally Met It’s Match


Space technology has now given us the most wonderful gift: a cleaner floor.  Yes, Heinrich Iglseder is an Austrian scientist who has worked on a new technique to study dust in space.  His research has yielded dust detectors that have flown on three space missions for the U.S., Japan, and Germany.  Dust in space can be deadly because it can be traveling at tens of thousands of miles per hour and at this speed it can damage or destroy necessary parts or spacecraft such as solar cells.  Spacecraft with dust detectors can take steps to protect themselves like folding in solar sails or maneuvering out of the dust.  Recently, spacecraft studying comets have found large wakes of dust trailing behind them that were previously not known about because of use of this type of dust detector. 

How does this information make a house cleaner?  Dr. Iglseder has modified his space dust detector for use in a normal vacuum cleaner.  This is known as the Allergotec sensor and it actively detects dust in the air flow.  The sensor is attached to a light that changes color based on the amount of dust that is present.  This colored light can range from Red, Yellow, White to Green or just Red and Green depending on the model with Green indicating a clean floor.  The benefits of having a dust free floor can be essential to those suffering from dust allergies and asthma.  For the first time we have an objective assessment of how clean a floor is and it’s all thanks to space technology. 

This technology is currently being used in the German based Miele Medicair family of vacuum cleaners and is not currently available in the U.S.  I’ve seen demonstrations of this product and the dust sensor really does know when it’s going over a dirty patch of floor.  To assist in making sure that all of the dust is coming off the floor, Miele has given this vacuum a 2,200 Watt electric motor – as powerful as motors used in forklifts, concrete mixers, and electric saws.  Also included are HEPA air filtration, 5 layer reinforced bags, and dust-proof seals on the canister.  Unfortunately all of this high tech will cost you at $679.00 on Amazon.com but it will get you the best vacuum currently on the market.  The next time someone asks what space funding has done for their lives, you can tell them to “Suck It!” with the Miele S5280 vacuum. 

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