Novel Regenerative Carbon Analyzer for Water Quality Monitoring 2006-01-2017
Monitoring the quality of astronaut potable and hygiene water is one of the highest priorities of a regenerative life support system for manned space missions to the ISS, Moon, Mars, and other remote locations. Real-time monitoring allows analysis of water processing from wastewater to potable water and would enable the rapid diagnosis and correction of a processing failure if a water-related health issue were to arise. Among detectors used to monitor recycled water quality, a total organic carbon (TOC) instrument or its functional equivalent should be used to assess the organic contaminant level. Through the NASA Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program, Lynntech has developed a novel, mesofluidic Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) for real-time monitoring of water quality. It has been designed for an operational lifetime of 5 years with no maintenance required and no need to supply reagents or water. The breadboard TOCA fabricated in the Phase I project fulfills the requirements established for ISS TOC monitoring, including a measurement range of 0.25 to 50 ppm and an accuracy of ± 25% above 1 ppm and ± 0.25 ppm below 1 ppm, when tested with ersatz reverse osmosis permeate water. An optimized, precise, reliable, microgravity compatible TOCA prototype will be designed, fabricated, tested, and delivered to NASA during the Phase II project currently underway.