Hydrazine, its derivatives and their mixtures are used as propellants in nearly every spacecraft's thrusters, orbital maneuvering systems and auxiliary power units. The problem with hydrazine is that it is extremely toxic and corrosive. Hydrazine contamination of the spacecraft cabin may occur as a result of exposure of astronauts to hydrazine residuals or leaks during extravehicular activity operations. By providing sensitive and selective continuous hydrazine monitoring in a compact lightweight package the proposed technology will significantly enhance the safety of the International Space Station and future NASA missions.
Commercialization of the proposed technology will result in a hydrazine sensor that will combine high performance characteristics, small footprint and relatively low price. Hydrazine is a common propellant used in missile systems; therefore, DOD is expected to be interested in this technology. In industry, hydrazine is used as a precursor to blowing agents, gas-forming compounds for air bags and also several pharmaceuticals and pesticides. Maintaining safe levels of hydrazine requires fast and sensitive hydrazine monitoring technology, which creates a high commercial potential for this technology as an industrial hydrazine monitoring application.