Avionics News July 2020 - 44

feature

PANDEMIC
MIC
PIVOT

AEA members contribute
their capabilities to
fight coronavirus

S T O R Y

B Y

P

S C O T T

erhaps more than many other industries,
aviation is manifestly prepared for Mother
Nature's challenges, because adapting to
her meteorological whims is essential to daily safety.
The global COVID-19 virus storm is but another
challenge that aviation has dealt with directly, with
each aviation community contributing its
unique capabilities to the antiviral
effort. Among them, few are more
diverse than the contributions of the
avionics community, represented
by members of the Aircraft
Electronics Association.
Appareo:
Ventilator Project
In late March, the North Dakota
Department of Emergency Services
called Appareo seeking ventilator
assistance, and the company committed
to producing 2,000 of them by the end of
April.
The Appareo team was not starting from
scratch. They build a ventilator based on the
open-source Coventor project, a cooperative
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S P A N G L E R

effort of the University of Minnesota and the Earl F.
Bakken Medical Device Center.
The Coventor should not be confused with a
sophisticated hospital ventilator, according to David
Batcheller, Appareo's president and chief executive
officer. It is more of a one-armed robot that replaces the
human who squeezes a ventilation bag, a staple scene
in TV medical shows, freeing the human to
focus on other medical imperatives.
The Coventor partners coordinated
with the Food and Drug
Administration to secure an
emergency use authorization for
the open-sourced "manufacture
agnostic" design that allowed
any manufacturer to bring it to
market.
Three days after the initial
call, "we had a functioning
prototype," Batcheller said. In that
time, Appareo's engineering and
manufacturing teams logged more
than 1,000 hours working late
every evening and through the
weekend.



Avionics News July 2020

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