The Urine Monitoring System (UMS) is a system designed to collect an individual crewmember's urine void, gently separate liquid from air in that void, accurately measure the liquid volume of the urine, allow for void sample acquisition, and to then discharge the remaining urine into the Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) on board the International Space Station.Facility Manager(s)
Johnson Space Center, Human Research Program, Houston, TX, United States
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Expeditions Assigned
25/26,27/28,29/30,33/34Previous ISS Missions
The UMS is a successor design to the existing Space Shuttle Urine Monitoring System, which flew on seven Shuttle flights after its initial development in 1979.
The International Space Station (ISS) Urine Monitoring System (UMS) is an upgrade to the previous Space Shuttle system. The UMS is capable of collecting and accurately measuring void volume, separating urine from air in the void, and allowing acquisition of individual, uncontaminated urine samples from ISS crewmembers, with samples being collected using frozen urine syringes and/or ambient preserved urine syringes containing a mixture of thymol and thimerosal. The UMS is designed to operate in conjunction with the airflow of the Waste and Hygiene Compartment (WHC) of the ISS; the hardware consists of a laptop computer and a mechanical module. The laptop serves as the primary crew interface, while the mechanical module contains a liquid/air separator, a motor, solenoid valves, fluid plumbing and the sample acquisition port. While deployed, the mechanical module resides in the Waste and Hygiene Compartment in Node 3 of the ISS.
A safe, accurate and reliable means of obtaining representative urine samples and total void volume measurements from the ISS crewmembers is essential to human research. Use of the UMS substantially reduces the launch mass and volume of consumables required for urine collection, eliminates the need for on-orbit stowage and disposal of large quantities of leftover urine, avoids the loss of urine to the water reclamation system when urine samples are required, resolves gender issues with the current system, and provides ease of operation.
The UMS also facilitates the performance of future investigations requiring urine sample collection by automatically measuring void volumes which is required to enable future real-time analysis of samples. Operational deployment of the UMS will reduce the number of samples requiring return to Earth for analysis and provides more timely results to investigators along with feedback to medical personnel regarding crew health.
During the equipment checkout, the UMS hardware is functionally tested to determine its efficacy at eliminating liquid carry-over between cycles, inaccurate void volume measurements, and cross contamination between void samples. Samples obtained as part of the checkout return aboard STS-134/ULF6 for postflight analysis. Once proper functioning is verified, the UMS will be available for use by experiments that require urine collection and determination of urine volume. Results concerning accurate void volume measurements will be quickly analyzed via downlink of log files. Once the volume accuracy is determined to be satisfactory, the UMS will be immediately available for use by experiments that require urine collection. Analysis of liquid carry-over and cross-contamination will be determined by ground analysis of samples returned from the checkout. Results of the ground analysis will be communicated to the PI teams already using UMS for sample collection for their information and evaluation.
The crew installs and activates the ISS UMS. One crewmember acts as both operator and subject to perform the following tasks: