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Technical Paper

Validation of the Volatile Organic Analyzer (VOA) Aboard the International Space Station

The Volatile organic analyzer (VOA) has been operated on the International Space Station (ISS) throughout 2002, but only periodically due to software interface problems. This instrument provides near real-time data on the concentration of target volatile organic contaminants in the spacecraft atmosphere. During 2002, a plan to validate the VOA operation on orbit was implemented using an operational scheme to circumvent the software issues. This plan encompassed simultaneous VOA sample runs and collection of archival air samples in grab sample containers (GSC). Agreement between the results from GSC and VOA samples is needed to validate the VOA for operational use. This paper will present the VOA validation data acquired through November 2002.
Technical Paper

Immobilized Antimicrobials for the Enhanced Control of Microbial Contamination

The active control of problematic microbial populations aboard spacecraft, and within future lunar and planetary habitats is a fundamental Advanced Life Support (ALS) requirement to ensure the long-term protection of crewmembers from infectious disease, and to shield materials and equipment from biofouling and biodegradation. The development of effective antimicrobial coatings and materials is an important first step towards achieving this goal and was the focus of our research. A variety of materials were coated with antibacterial and antifungal agents using covalent linkages. Substrates included both granular media and materials of construction. Granular media may be employed to reduce the number of viable microorganisms within flowing aqueous streams, to inhibit the colonization and formation of biofilms within piping, tubing and instrumentation, and to amplify the biocidal activity of low aqueous iodine concentrations.
Technical Paper

TransHab Radiation Shield Water Tank: A Solar Storm Shelter for Personnel on ISS or a Mars Interplanetary Mission

As part of NASA’s TransHab inflatable habitat program, a Radiation Shield Water Tank (RSWT) is being developed to provide a safe haven from peak solar particle events. The RSWT will provide an 11 ft. (3.35 m) diameter by 7 ft. (2.13 m) tall “safe haven” with a 2.26 in. (0.0574 m) thick wall of water for astronaut residence during peak solar events. The RSWT also functions as a water processing storage tank and must be capable of being filled and drained at will. Because of the unique shape of the RSWT, standard bellows and bladder designs cannot be used for inventory control. Therefore NASA has developed a bladderless tank where capillary forces govern the positioning of the liquid inventory. A combination of hydrophobic and hydrophilic membranes and wetting surfaces allows the tank to be filled and emptied as desired. In the present work, background on space-borne radiation is presented, the bladderless RSWT concept is described, and its theory of operation is discussed.