MPLM Total Off-Gassing Test Through Different Sampling Methods: Comparison and Experimental Results
The Total Off-gassing test purpose is to determine the identity and quantity of trace gas contaminants offgassed in areas of spacecraft where the crew will breathe the atmosphere. Two different air sampling methods were adopted in parallel during the off-gassing tests on the Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules (MPLM) by Alenia Spazio. The first method, based on NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) requirements, foresees storage of collected air samples into stainless steel pressure cylinders. The second method proposed by ESA (European Space Agency), uses trace contaminants adsorption on Carbopack™ filled ceramic tubes. Sample lines route the samples collected inside the MPLM cabin, to the respective external collection points. Successively, the stored samples are chemically analyzed by Gas Chromatography / Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) techniques and the module offgassing rates are calculated.