Advanced Extra-Vehicular Activity systems are necessary for the successful support of the International Space Station beyond 2020, for future human space exploration missions, for in-space microgravity EVA, and for planetary surface exploration. In collaboration with NASA personnel, IOS has identified several needs and potential applications of multiparameter probe sensors, particularly for space suits. These include the International Space Station (ISS) Extra-vehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), the Orion-derived Launch Entry Abort (LEA), and future Advanced EMU development. The ISS EMU requirement is the highest priority, because problems have been reported in the CO2 sensor in use under conditions of liquid water condensation, and because solving problems reported in the CO2 scrubber system require a humidity sensor capable of withstanding water condensation. NASA guidance and the participation of UTC Aerospace Systems will ensure that the prototypes resulting from this project are compatible with the ISS EMU PLSS system. The proposed technology will also have application as a monitor for air quality in the pressurized cabins of crewed spacecraft, will significantly improve miniaturization, and has potential for distributed sensing.
Compact high-performance gas sensors have a number of aeronautical applications. IOS has already negotiated with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to integrate the sensor probe to be developed in the proposed project into flight crew air supply systems. Because of its status as both an aircraft system integrator and a leading supplier of avionic and aeronautics subsystems, Lockheed Martin is in an excellent position to bring IOS sensor technology to the aeronautics market.