Successful development of an integrated, robust fire detection sensor will allow NASA to adopt a high-reliability system for detection of smoldering and/or fires in the International Space Station and other manned spacecraft. Such systems will become more important as we begin extended-duration flights to the Moon and Mars. The same gas sensing platform also could be used for meeting the needs for a multi-gas sensor for monitoring cabin air, gas regeneration, and life support systems. Longer term NASA applications could include adaptation of the instrument for measurements of the componenets of planetary atmospheres, using space-qualified electronics and further ruggedization of the mechanical and thermal design. Applications could include measurements of atmospheric gases on Mars (e.g. water vapor, methane), Venus (SO2), Titan (methane, ethane), or other future planetary missions.
This same gas sensor could also be used on a wide variety of platforms (e.g. aircraft, balloons, ground-based network, etc.). Since it is designed for long-term operation with minimal attention and maintenance, it is expected to find use in validation of remote data sensing satellites and for in situ measurements in atmospheric research. Other Governmental and commercial needs include the development of fire sensors for other agencies and applications, such as in submarines or aircraft, as well as compact, general purpose fire and industrial gas sensors.