Room-Temperature Diode Laser Monitors for Spacecraft Air Quality/Air Revitalization Control

Paper #:
  • 981569

Published:
  • 1998-07-13
Citation:
Kessler, W., Allen, M., and Mulhall, P., "Room-Temperature Diode Laser Monitors for Spacecraft Air Quality/Air Revitalization Control," SAE Technical Paper 981569, 1998, https://doi.org/10.4271/981569.
Pages:
10
Abstract:
Advanced environmental monitoring and control technologies are required for future human exploration of the solar system, where the spacecraft air supply must be recycled for continuous use over a period of months to years. Primary target compounds and 180-day Spacecraft Maximum Acceptable Concentration (SMAC's) limits have been identified for several classes of contaminants. For the identified major species, O2, CO, CO2 and CH4, room-temperature, near-IR tunable diode laser absorption sensors have already been demonstrated with ∼1 ppm-meter detection limits (at or below many of the current SMAC limits) and continuous response band widths on the order of 1 Hz. Additional sensitivity can be achieved using compact long pathlength multipass optical cells. These new generation diode laser sensors use communications-type diode lasers in compact, fiber-coupled packages ideal for remote and autonomous sensor applications. In this paper we will describe extensions of these diode laser sensor concepts for sensitive monitoring of a second class of contaminants, trace volatile hydrocarbons species. We will also describe results from a technology insertion demonstration of selected species detection at the NASA Johnson human habitat simulation.
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