The Orion Air Monitor; an Optimized Analyzer for Environmental Control and Life Support 2008-01-2046
This paper describes the requirements for and design implementation of an air monitor for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). The air monitor is specified to monitor oxygen, nitrogen, water vapor, and carbon dioxide, and participates with the Environmental Control Life Support System (ECLSS) pressure control system and Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS) to help maintain a breathable and safe environment. The sensing requirements are similar to those delivered by the International Space Station (ISS) air monitor, the Major Constituent Analyzer or MCA (1, 2 and 3), and the predecessors to that instrument, the Skylab Mass Spectrometer (4, 5), although with a shift in emphasis from extended operations to minimized weight.
The Orion emphasis on weight and power, and relatively simpler requirements on operating life, allow optimization of the instrument toward the mass of a sensor assembly. The Air Monitor is more integral with Orion's ARS, simplifying the sampling system relative to the MCA, the verification assembly has been greatly simplified, and the electronics have been redesigned around a simple controller, allowing the design to come in at under 15 pounds.