Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-2300
2000-07-10

A Miniature Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer Array and GC For Space Flight: Astronaut EVA and Cabin-Air Monitoring 2000-01-2300

A miniature quadrupole mass spectrometer array and gas chromatograph have been designed and built for NASA flight missions. Without the gas chromatograph the mass spectrometer is to be used for detection, by astronauts in EVA, of N2, O2, the hydrazines, and NH3 leaks in the hull of the International Space Station, and of adsorbed hydrazines on the astronauts’ suits. The fully-adapted astronaut system, with all software and visual readout, is called the Trace Gas Analyzer. When interfaced with the miniature gas chromatographic system, the mass spectrometer will be useful for a variety of NASA missions involving more complex gas mixtures. The missions include planetary exploration (to Venus, Europa, Titan, etc.), as well as cabin-air monitoring for long-duration human flight to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. A description of the miniature mass spectrometer, the Trace Gas Analyzer system and miniature gas chromatograph front end is given, and test results are shown for a variety of gas mixtures. A variety of possible flight applications is discussed.

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