Miniaturized Sensor Systems for Early Fire Detection in Spacecraft
A fire in spacecraft or habitat supporting NASA's Exploration mission could jeopardize the system, mission, and/or crew. Given adequate measures for fire prevention, the hazard from a fire can be significantly reduced if fire detection is rapid and occurs in the early stages of fire development. The simultaneous detection of both particulate and gaseous products has been proven to rapidly detect fires and accurately distinguish between real fires and nuisance sources. This paper describes the development status of gaseous and particulate sensor elements, integrated sensor systems, and system testing. It is concluded that while development is still necessary, the fundamental approach of smart, miniaturized, multisensor technology has the potential to significantly improve the safety of NASA space exploration systems.