Development of an In-line Urine Monitoring System for the International Space Station 2009-01-2400
Exposure to microgravity during space flight causes bone loss when calcium and other metabolic by-products are excreted in urine voids. Frequent and accurate measurement of urine void volume and constituents is thus essential in determining crew bone loss and the effectiveness of the countermeasures that are taken to minimize this loss. Earlier space shuttle Urine Monitoring System (UMS) technology was unable to accurately measure urine void volumes due to the cross-contamination that took place between users, as well as to fluid system instabilities. Crew urine voids are currently collected manually in a flexible plastic bag that contains a known tracer quantity. A crew member must completely mix the contents of this bag before withdrawing a representative syringe sample for later ground analysis. The existing bag system accuracy is therefore highly dependent on mixing technique.