Browse Publications Technical Papers 2006-01-2153

Evaluation of Gas Chromatography-Differential Mobility Spectrometry for Measurement of Air Contaminants in Spacecraft 2006-01-2153

The Volatile Organic Analyzer (VOA) was the first instrument to routinely measure trace volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in near real-time aboard a manned spacecraft. Although the VOA was verified to accurately identify and quantify important target VOCs in the International Space Station atmosphere, its size and resource demands make the VOA unsuitable for use in exploration vehicles. Gas chromatography/differential mobility spectrometry (GC/DMS) is a technology that potentially can meet the size and resource constraints dictated by NASA's exploration mission scenarios. Additionally, it is expected that GC/DMS will meet or exceed the analytical performance of the VOA. This paper will provide a detailed explanation of DMS detection principles and describe the test plan being used to evaluate a GC/DMS brassboard in the NASA Johnson Space Center's Toxicology Laboratory. Initial results from the GC/DMS testing will be presented and recommendations for future GC/DMS work will be advanced.


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