Advanced ISS Air Monitoring — The ANITA and ANITA2 Missions 2009-01-2523
After 11 months of successful operation onboard the ISS US laboratory Destiny, the air quality monitors ANITA (Analyzing Interferometer for Ambient Air) was brought back to Earth on STS126 (ULF2). ANITA is a technology demonstrator flight experiment for continuous air quality monitoring inside the crewed cabin of the ISS with low detection limits and high time resolution. For the first time, the dynamics of the detected trace gas concentrations could be directly resolved by ANITA and correlated to gas events in the cabin.
The system is the result of a long term ESA technology development programme initiated more than seventeen years ago. The ANITA mission was a cooperative project between ESA and NASA. ESA's responsibilities were the provision of the H/W, the data acquisition and the data evaluation. NASA was responsible for the launch, accommodation and operation onboard ISS, data download and the transportation of ANITA back to the Earth.
ANITA was calibrated to detect and quantify 30 trace gases simultaneously with down to
sub-ppm (parts per million) detection limits in addition to the always present background gases carbon dioxide and water vapour. The results of the mission are summarised in .
Further, with a specially developed gas bag hand pump system also gas analyses were performed on air samples from Node 1 of the Space Station.
ANITA is a precursor for a permanent continuous trace gas monitoring system ANITA2 for ISS and future space vehicles. At the time of the conference the follow-on study on ANITA2 will have been initiated.
This paper describes the measurement system, the lessons learned during the mission on ISS, and the planned follow-on activities. The work described has been performed under contract of the European Space Agency.