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Technical Paper

Advanced Integrated-Optic and MNT Technologies for the Infrared Spectral Monitoring of Spacecraft Vital Life-Support Systems and Remote Astronaut Health Diagnostics

Manned space systems have many requirements for the monitoring of vital life support systems including quality of cabin air and the recycled water supply, as well as direct monitoring of vital indicators of astronaut health. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy is an attractive monitoring technique because it requires minimal consumables while providing relatively high chemical specificity for the detection of a wide variety of biochemicals using the characteristic vibrational modes of chemical bonds. For space-based systems, the important drivers are reliability, power consumption, mass and simplicity of operation. MPB has advanced its IOSPEC™ technology for miniature integrated IR spectrometers to provide performance comparable to large bench-top IR systems but in a compact and ruggedized footprint weighing under 2.5 kg.
Technical Paper

Miniature High-Performance Infrared Spectrometer for the Monitoring of Spacecraft Vital Life-Support Systems

Manned space systems have many requirements for the monitoring of vital life support systems such as the cabin air quality and the quality of the recycled water supply. Infrared spectroscopy probes the characteristic vibrational and rotational modes of chemical bonds in molecules to provide information about both the chemical composition and the bonding configuration of a sample. The significant advantage of the IR spectral technique is that it can be used with minimal consumables to simultaneously detect a large variety of chemical and biochemical species with high chemical specificity. To date, relatively large Fourier Transform (FT-IR) spectrometers employing variations of the Michelson interferometer have been successfully employed in space for various IR spectroscopy applications. However, FT-IR systems are mechanically complex, bulky (> 15 kg), and require considerable processing.