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Center Independent Research & Development: KSC IRAD

Alternative Nonvolatile Residue Analysis with Contaminant Identification

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Alternative NVR Chamber

Cleanliness verification is required in numerous industries including spaceflight ground support, electronics, medical and aerospace. Currently at KSC, requirements for cleanliness verification use solvents that are environmentally unfriendly. The goal of this project is to produce an alternative cleanliness verification technique that is both environmentally friendly and more cost effective.


This purpose of this project is to develop an improved method for nonvolatile residue (NVR) analysis using the Direct Analysis in Real Time Mass Spectrometry (DART-MS). DART technology has been used for detection and identification of trace contaminants on a wide range of materials, from counterfeit pharmaceuticals to illicit drugs on paper currency. NVR is essentially a contaminant on flight hardware and as such, should be readily detectible via DART analysis. The primary challenge will be developing a means of sampling components with complex, three-dimensional geometries.  Researchers will develop identification and quantitative analysis procedures to determine NVR levels for precision cleaned components. This project is in process and updates as to the progress will be submitted.



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