Instrumentation for Analyzing Volatile Organic Compounds in Inhabited Enclosed Environments 2000-01-2434
This paper will address an instrument designed for the measurement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) within closed environments and specifically for one of the most difficult environments - that found within a space station. The constraints of low weight, size, power and consumables are combined with the needs for simplicity, reliability and maintainability together with the key ability to identify and quantify a wide range of organic compounds down to trace detection levels (ppb).
Current technology to achieve these requirements, designed into a Volatile Organic Analyzer (VOA), uses a dual preconcentrator-GC-ion mobility spectrometry (GC-IMS) sequence with integral microprocessor. The VOA has achieved very high reliability and reproducibility; and has survived Shuttle launch forces.
Details and results will be presented from VOA experiments in which the characterization of 30 compounds was addressed and methodology for their automated identification and quantitation was evolved. Proposed second generation technology improvements will be discussed.