Development of Optical Trace Gas Monitoring Technology for NASA Human Space Flight
Investigators from three institutions have partnered in a Rapid Technology Development Team whose goal will be the deployment of laser-based sensors for air-constituent measurements on board spacecrafts. The sensors will eventually be based on Type II Interband Cascade (IC) lasers being developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. These lasers will be used in implementations of both photo acoustic spectroscopy based on the use of quartz tuning fork oscillators as a resonant acoustic sensor (QE-PAS) and cavity ring down spectroscopy (CRDS). In the first year of the program, work at Rice and George Washington Universities has focused on the development of both QEPAS and CRDS sensors for ammonia using near infrared lasers. Simultaneously, the JPL portion of the team has fabricated both Fabry Perot and distributed feedback lasers in the mid infrared that can be used for formaldehyde detection.