Successful development of a real-time formaldehyde monitor will allow NASA to replace the currently used badge system that provides only a quick monthly snapshot of formaldehyde concentrations in the International Space Station, with a continuous monitor having real-time readout. The same gas sensing platform also could be adapted for meeting the needs for a multi-gas sensor for monitoring cabin air, gas regeneration, and life support systems. The compact size and low power usage permit ready adaptation to other platforms (e.g. aircraft, balloons, UAVs, ground-based networks, etc.) of interest to NASA. Since our monitor is designed for long-term operation with minimal attention and maintenance, it is expected to find use in validation of remote data sensing obtained from planned NASA atmospheric research missions.
The platform used for monitoring formaldehyde could readily be adapted to measure other gases, including those related to combustion and fire safety, health monitoring, climate change research, and industrial process monitoring.