Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Skip to content

Use of the Operational Air Quality Monitor (AQM) for In-Flight Water Testing Project

Metadata Updated: December 7, 2023

<p>Currently, the Air Quality Monitor (AQM) on-board ISS provides specific information for a number of target compounds in the air. However, there is a significant subset of common target compounds between air and water.&nbsp; Naturally, the following question arises, &ldquo;Can the AQM be used for both air and water quality monitoring?&rdquo;&nbsp; Previous directorate-level IR&amp;D funding led to the development of a water sample introduction method for mass spectrometry using electro-thermal vaporization (ETV).&nbsp; This vaporization source allows analytes in water samples to enter the gas phase, where they can be analyzed using a variety of techniques.&nbsp; This project will focus on the integration of the ETV with a ground-based AQM.&nbsp; The capabilities of this integrated platform will be evaluated using a subset of toxicologically important compounds.</p><p>The ETV unit was constructed using two glass tubes and a nichrome ribbon powered by a programmable DC power supply (G W Instec, PSM-3004).&nbsp; The nichrome ribbon was threaded through two 3-mm wide, 1-cm-long slot cuts on the inner tube placed 1.5 cm past the inlet.&nbsp; The ribbon was held securely by compressing it between the inner tube and two halves of an outer glass tube.&nbsp; These halves were held together using a flexible metal clamp.&nbsp; Inside the inner tube the ribbon was slightly curved, and an indent (1 mm diameter) was made on its surface for depositing a measured liquid sample drop.&nbsp; The ribbon was positioned in the upper half of the inner tube in such a way that the edge of the ribbon faced the front (inlet) side of the ETV unit.&nbsp; Holes (1 mm diameter) were made on the outer and inner glass tubes for sample introduction and were aligned with the ribbon indent.</p><p>The viability of the ETV approach for the analysis of water analytes was demonstrated using a ground-based, laboratory scale analyzer (reference:&nbsp; Dwivedi, P. et al.&nbsp; &ldquo;Electro-Thermal Vaporization Direct Analysis in Real Time-Mass Spectrometry for Water Contaminant Analysis During Space Missions,&rdquo; Analytical Chemistry, 85, 9898-9906 (2013)).&nbsp; The work in this proposal will extend that effort and interface the ETV to a ground version of the current in-flight AQM.&nbsp; Liquid sample will be introduce via a pipet through the sample injection port and placed onto the nichrome ribbon heated to a set temperature by an external, programmable power supply.&nbsp; Upon vaporization of the water sample, the target analytes will be swept into the AQM Sample-In port using nitrogen carrier gas.&nbsp; A vapor-phase analysis can then be performed by the AQM to identify and quantify the target analytes in the water samples.&nbsp; Parameters to be optimized include water sample size, carrier gas sweep rate, and ribbon temperature.&nbsp; The operating parameters of the vapor-phase analysis performed by the AQM will also need to be modified for this type of sampling methodology.&nbsp; A simple two-position valve attached to the ETV and a diverter tube will allow for manual selection of either a water sample through the ETV or an air sample through the diverter tube.&nbsp; The primary objective of this effort is to evaluate the viability of the ETV with ground-based, flight hardware.&nbsp; A proof-of-concept unit capable of water and air analysis utilizing the ETV will be developed.&nbsp; The target water analytes to be used in this work will come from a list provided by the water SMEs in the Toxicology and Environmental Chemistry Laboratories at JSC.&nbsp; These analytes are commonly observed in the ground analysis of water samples from ISS.&nbsp; A preliminary engineering evaluation of this set-up could potentially be performed with the goal of formulating a viable plan of integrating the ETV to the control soft

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

Downloads & Resources



Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date December 7, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date December 7, 2023
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Identifier TECHPORT_12100
Data First Published 2012-10-01
Data Last Modified 2020-01-29
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id 404b1fae-0825-442c-b54b-e735ae071f84
Harvest Source Id 58f92550-7a01-4f00-b1b2-8dc953bd598f
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Homepage URL
Program Code 026:000
Related Documents,,,,,,,
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash a86f924c35a9130d2054c2ecaff98cec01758e74614de8f59b92445afb7a59b6
Source Schema Version 1.1
Temporal 2012-10-01T00:00:00Z/2014-12-01T00:00:00Z

Didn't find what you're looking for? Suggest a dataset here.

An official website of the GSA's Technology Transformation Services

Looking for U.S. government information and services?