Human space exploration missions require life support systems to sustain and secure crewmembers' health. The proposed detection system will provide a critical technology in the current NASA vision for space explorations. Urine processor assembly (UPA) on ISS is designed to extract around 85% of the water from wastewater including urine and flush water. However, because of lack of suitable monitoring instruments, the recovery percentage had to be compromised to ensure water quality and prevent the release of ammonia. Meanwhile, astronauts have been reported to lose an average of more than 1% bone mass per month spent in space. Hence the proposed approach can not only help monitor crew health but also recover more waste water.
The proposed detection system capable of monitoring calcium, pH and conductivity will have a wide range of commercial non-NASA applications such as marine resource management, environmental monitoring entities, aquaculturist, and fisheries etc. for assessing the impact of ocean acidification and calcification on the health of the marine ecosystem. Other applications could include clinical chemistry monitoring pH and calcium in plasma.