Micro GC's for Contaminant Monitoring in Spacecraft Air
Based on the successful separation of 20 compounds using a 1 m coated microcolumn in Phase I, we propose to design a new micro-gas chromatograph (microGC) system to separate and detect of all contaminants listed in NASAs "Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentrations for Airborne Contaminants (SMACs)" using cabin air as the carrier gas, and to integrate the entire system to maximize the detection of the contaminants with high-sensitivity and accuracy. In order to attain these goals, we will use three sets of preconcentrators, columns, and detectors in parallel, each with the appropriate selectivity for a given class of gases. Light gases will use a packed column, and polar and non-polar gases with their respective stationary phases. The prototype micro-GC/FID will comprise preconcentrators with fast injection valves, microcolumns to separate different gas analytes, an air sampling pump, a water-hydrolysis hydrogen generator to provide enough oxygen and hydrogen for a micro-flame ionization detector, thermal management, controls and circuit board to drive the system.
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