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Technical Paper

Expanding the Capabilities of the JPL Electronic Nose for an International Space Station Technology Demonstration

An array-based sensing system based on polymer-carbon composite conductometric sensors is under development at JPL for use as an environmental monitor in the International Space Station. Sulfur dioxide has been added to the analyte set for this phase of development. Using molecular modeling techniques, the interaction energy between SO2 and polymer functional groups has been calculated, and polymers selected as potential SO2 sensors. Experiment has validated the model and two selected polymers have been shown to be promising materials for SO2 detection.
Technical Paper

Slow Reversible and Quasi-Reversible Performance Changes in AMTEC Electrodes and Electrolytes

This paper reports several slow reversible and quasi-reversible processes which occur in the porous electrode/solid electrolyte combination at AMTEC operating temperatures. These processes help to elucidate the evolution of the electrode and electrolyte characteristics with time. They also demonstrate that the atomic constituents of the electrode/electrolyte engage in significant dynamic motion. We report the stability of the sodium beta“-alumina phase in low pressure sodium vapor at 1173K up to 3000 hours, and the decomposition of the sodium meta-aluminate (NaAlO2) phase present at about 1% in the BASE ceramic, which gives rise to transient local increases in the solid electrolyte resistivity due to local micro-cracking. We also report slow apparent morphological changes, possibly surface or grain boundary reconstruction, in TiN and RhW electrodes driven by changes in the local sodium activity.
Technical Paper

Expanding the Analyte Set of the JPL Electronic Nose to Include Inorganic Species

An array-based sensing system based on 32 polymer/carbon composite conductometric sensors is under development at JPL. Until the present phase of development, the analyte set has focused on organic compounds (common solvents) and a few selected inorganic compounds, notably ammonia and hydrazine. The present phase of JPL ENose development has added two inorganics to the analyte set: mercury and sulfur dioxide. Through models of sensor-analyte response developed under this program coupled with a literature survey, approaches to including these analytes in the ENose target set have been determined.