317 Development of the Volatile Organic Analyzer for the International Space Station

Thursday, November 5, 2009: 1:30 PM
Angus (Camino Real Hotel)
Thomas Limero , Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering Group, Houston, TX
The Volatile Organic Analyzer (VOA) was recently decommissioned after almost 8 years of evaluating the trace volatile organics in the atmosphere of the International Space Station (ISS).   The VOA data were used, along with other information, to assess the quality of air breathed by the astronauts during their missions.  The VOA also proved its value in ISS contingency events that permitted the NASA toxicologist to assess the impact of these events on crew health.  The VOA was a prominent piece of the Crew Health Care Systems on the ISS that protected crew health and safety.  My first interactions with Dr. Gary Eiceman began in the late 1980s when he worked on adapting a Chemical Agent Monitor (CAM) to detect hydrazines on spacecraft.  The project involved “doping” the detector’s (ion mobility spectrometer) drift region for selectivity.  It was discussion between Dr. Eiceman and me, in the early 1990s, that led directly to development of the VOA.  Dr. Eiceman’s input on this project was critical to the eventual success of the VOA on the ISS.  In this presentation I will discuss the early VOA work and prototypes, provide details on use of the VOA during ISS contingencies, and show how Dr. Eiceman’s work helped develop the follow-on technology for the VOA.