Regenerative Total Organic Carbon Analyzer for Long-Duration Missions 2007-01-3154
Potable and hygiene water availability is a critical requirement for long-duration manned space missions. Frequent water quality testing helps to ensure astronaut health by providing needed feedback on the effectiveness of on-board water purification units. One of the most basic and broad-spectrum indicators of contamination is organic carbon concentration. To meet the need for water quality feedback on the International Space Station (ISS), as well as on planned missions to Luna and Mars, Lynntech is developing a mesofluidic total organic carbon analyzer (TOCA) through the NASA SBIR program. The unit has been designed to operate in the demanding environment of a long-duration manned space mission and addresses the issues of microgravity operation, an operating lifetime of 5 years, low power consumption, simple user interface, robust architecture, and inherent safety. The TOCA design eliminates the need for launching and maintaining large quantities of hazardous chemicals while minimizing equivalent system mass (ESM). Considerable advancements have been made in TOCA development over the past year and are ongoing, including: zero-g flight testing of the liquid-gas phase separators developed for this application, redesign of critical components to increase efficiency and effectiveness, addition of new components to optimize microfluidic mixing and better-define sample volumes, reduction of sample cross-contamination potential, complete system assembly into a rack-mount enclosure, and accelerated life testing of the completed unit.