The proposed technology will apply directly to accomplishing the objectives of the NASA Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) program, facilitating the rapid and effective development of novel EVA systems, and the demonstration of key capabilities for future human missions beyond Earth orbit. Exhaustive testing of prototype systems reduces risk and improves the affordability of exploration missions. The proposed technology will significantly enhance current capabilities for demonstrating, in ground-based testbeds and in flight experiments on the International Space Station (ISS), the prototype EVA systems developed in the AES program. IOS sensor technology is probably the most advanced alternative to infrared-based gas sensors, and the proposed effort could lead to an alternative approach for gas monitoring in the PLSS for space missions, to infrared absorption-based devices, with the advantages not only of operation under wet conditions, but also of reduced power consumption and size.
IOS has already applied the proposed technology to monitoring pilots' inspired gases in military aircraft. The proposed technology has potential in other applications in military aeronautics, where the characteristics of the fiber optic sensor have significant advantages. Specifically, we are evaluating oxygen monitoring in on-board oxygen generation systems (OBOGS) and gas monitoring in on-board inert gas generation systems (OIGGS). Finally, the largest potential market for a combined carbon dioxide/relative humidity/oxygen (pCO2-H2O-O2) sensor is the indoor air quality control market. Advanced management of indoor air quality (IAQ) is essential to meet the DOE goal of reducing energy use by 20% in a decade while reducing IAQ-related health problems. Implementing novel building envelopes to reduce energy use can compromise indoor air quality. Technologies for the next generation of air control and monitoring must emphasize cost-competitiveness in widespread use. IOS has already started a development effort to produce low-cost, low-power, phase-resolved luminescence detectors for this attractive market.