A Second Generation Volatile Organic Analyzer for the International Space Station
Experiences during the Shuttle and NASA/Mir programs illustrated the need for a real-time volatile organic analyzer (VOA) to assess the impact of air quality disruptions on the International Space Station (ISS). Toward this end, a joint development by the Toxicology Laboratory at Johnson Space Center and Graseby Dynamics (Watford, UK) produced a 1st generation VOA that has been delivered and is ready for the first 5 years of ISS operation. Criteria for the selection of the 1st generation VOA included minimizing the size, weight, and power consumption while maintaining analytical performance. Consequently, a VOA system based upon gas chromatography/ion mobility spectrometry (GC/IMS) was selected in the mid-90’s. A smaller, less resource-intensive device than the 1st generation VOA will be needed as NASA looks beyond ISS operations. During the past three years, efforts to reduce the size of ion mobility spectrometers have been pursued.