The Technology Demonstration of the Third Generation JPL Electronic Nose on the International Space Station

The Technology Demonstration of the Third Generation JPL Electronic Nose on the International Space Station

Abhijit V. Shevade (Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, USA), Margie L. Homer (Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, USA), Adam K. Kisor (Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, USA), Shiao-Ping S. Yen (Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, USA), Liana M. Lara (Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, USA), Hanying Zhou (Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, USA), Kenneth S. Manatt (Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, USA), Scott Gluck (Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, USA) and Margaret A. Ryan (Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2521-1.ch013
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Abstract

This chapter describes the development, operation, and experimental results of the Third Generation JPL Electronic Nose (ENose), which operated on board the International Space Station (ISS) as a technology demonstration for seven months from 2008-2009. The JPL ENose is an array of chemiresistive sensors designed to monitor the environment for the sudden release of targeted chemical species, such as leaks or spills. The Third Generation JPL ENose was designed to detect, identify, and quantify eleven chemical species, three inorganic, ammonia, mercury, and sulfur dioxide, and eight organic compounds, which represent common classes of organic compounds such as alcohols, aromatics, and halocarbons. Chemical species were quantified at or below their 24 hour Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentrations (SMAC), generally in the parts-per-million range; some targeted species were detected in the parts-per-billion range. Analysis of third generation JPL ENose monitoring data on ISS show the short term presence of low concentrations of alcohols, octafluoropropane, and formaldehyde as well as frequent short term unknown events. Repeated unknown events were identified post-flight as sulfur hexafluoride.
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Introduction

The JPL Electronic Nose (Ryan, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004a, 2004b) is an event monitor designed and built for near real time air quality monitoring in crew habitat aboard the space shuttle/space station. This is an array–based sensing system which is designed to run continuously and to monitor for the presence of selected chemical species in the air at parts-per-million (ppm) to parts-per-billion (ppb) concentration ranges. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a federally funded research and development facility managed by the California Institute of Technology for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/). Its mission is to enable space exploration for the benefit of humankind by developing robotic spacecraft and instruments.

There have been three phases of development of the JPL Electronic Nose. In the first phase, arrays of sensors were investigated and a device capable of detecting, analyzing, and quantifying ten analytes at the 1-hour Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentration (SMAC) (Toxicology Group, 1999) was developed. This device was tested successfully for six days on Space Shuttle flight STS-95 in 1998 (Ryan, 2004a). In the second phase, the ENose was miniaturized and the capabilities were significantly expanded to include 21 analytes and detection at varying humidity and temperature. This device, the Second Generation ENose, was tested extensively on the ground, and was demonstrated to be able to detect, identify, and quantify the 21 analytes at or below their 24-hour SMACs. The third phase of development was designed to monitor spacecraft cabin air quality in near real-time. A technology demonstration of the Third Generation JPL ENose aboard the International Space Station (ISS) was performed in 2008-09. Analytes included ammonia, mercury and sulfur dioxide, and eight organic compounds, which represent common classes of organic compounds. Analytes and targeted detection concentrations are shown in Table 1.

Table 1.
Target analytes for the third generation JPL ENose technology demonstration aboard the international space station. SMAC refers to the Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentration.
ANALYTEQUANTITATIVE TARGET
(ppm)
24-Hour SMAC
(ppm)
1. Ammonia5.020
2. Mercury0.010.0020
3. Sulfur Dioxide1.0NA
4. Acetone200200
5. Dichloromethane1035
6. Ethanol5002000
7. Freon 2182011,000
8. Methanol1010
9. 2-Propanol100100
10. Toluene1616
11. Formaldehyde0.100.10

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