NanoRacks-Maranatha Christian Schools-Measuring CO2 levels aboard the International Space Station (NanoRacks-MCS-CO2 Sensor) - 09.27.17

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a natural byproduct of human and animal breathing, but is toxic at high concentrations. NanoRacks-Maranatha Christian Schools-Measuring CO2 levels aboard the International Space Station (NanoRacks-MCS-CO2 Sensor) was developed after a request from NASA for new carbon dioxide sensors. The project measures changing levels of carbon dioxide in the space station and paves the way for a lightweight, low-power CO2 sensor to ensure crewmember safety.
 
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Bill Miller, M.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: NanoRacks Module-20 S/N 1002

Principal Investigator(s)
Maranatha Christian Schools , Maranatha Christian Schools, San Diego, CA, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Bill Miller, M.S., Maranatha Christian Schools, San Diego, CA, United States

Developer(s)
NanoRacks, LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory Education (NLE)

Research Benefits
Space Exploration, Earth Benefits

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2014 - September 2014

Expeditions Assigned
39/40

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The project is inspired by a request for proposal (RFP) issued by NASA for carbon dioxide (CO2) sensor products. This research is needed to develop an inexpensive, efficient, and reliable CO2 Sensor.
  • The NanoRacks-Maranatha Christian Schools-Measuring CO2 levels aboard the International Space Station (NanoRacks-MCS-CO2 Sensor) measures CO2 levels in an operating microgravity space environment. This experiment records CO2 levels and analyzes the data to determine if predefined CO2 threshold levels are exceeded.  If the levels are exceeded, the indicators (lights) are turned on as a warning signal.
  • The impact of this experiment could lead to further development of a compact, inexpensive, and low power consuming CO2 Sensor. This device could be used in environments where there are space and power limitations.

Description
The major hardware for the NanoRacks-Maranatha Christian Schools-Measuring CO2 levels aboard the International Space Station (NanoRacks-MCS-CO2 Sensor) includes a Telair T6615 carbon dioxide (CO2) sensor to read the CO2 levels and a LT1077 operational amplifier for a hardware controlled light-emitting diode (LED) circuit. The NanoRacks-MCS-CO2 Sensor experiment is designed to measure the ever-changing CO2 levels on the international space station. A Telair T6615 (50K model) CO2 sensor is used to measure the CO2. The sensor is the most crucial piece of the experiment. The T6615 measures the CO2 levels on the station every thirty seconds while peaking at 150 mA. To compensate for the current spike a Super Capacitor of 1 Farad is used. The capacitor is charged upon the application of electrical power by the crewmember. This allows for a second power source that the CO2 sensor can pull from, thus eliminating the high current spike. The CO2 monitor sends out a reading to the four pins on the 26 pin jumper that reads all of the data. The software that transfers into another LED Circuit controlled strictly by software reads those connections. Another output goes to an operational amplifier, which regulates the voltage through the circuit in order to get the exact voltage, to another LED circuit for the hardware alarm from the output of the CO2 sensor and sensors on the NanoLab. The software stores the temperature, time, CO2 level, and humidity to record and compare with the levels of CO2.  

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Applications

Space Applications
A small CO2 sensor in a NanoLab samples space station air every 30 seconds, and results are analyzed and stored by special software. The sensor detects carbon dioxide levels between 0-50,000 ppm, and turns on an LED warning light if levels exceed a pre-defined limit. The investigation leads to development of compact, personal-sized CO2 monitors that crewmembers can wear to monitor their environments.

Earth Applications
Fourteen students and seven adult mentors designed the investigation, developing new skills in science, engineering and technology and connecting them to the space program. Students designed, soldered and built the investigation payload, and software students programmed its computer, gaining real-world experience and expanding Maranatha Christian Schools' engineering program.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
NanoRacks Module-20 is completely autonomous and only requires installation and removal. During actual operation, photographic data is sent to the investigators to track the progress of the experiment. The first three days have the most data transmitted (about 16 VGA quality photographs along with environmental data (humidity and temperature)). Thereafter, transmission is limited to 1 VGA photo and environmental data per day for the duration of the flight. The payload chamber needs to be returned to the researchers so its contents can be examined under an atomic force microscope.
Crew interaction with NanoRacks Module-20 is limited to transferring the NanoRacks locker Insert from the launch vehicle to the ISS, installation and activation of the NanoRacks Frames into the EXPRESS Rack Locker, cleaning of the air inlet filter (as necessary), and data retrieval (as needed) during the mission.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Maranatha Christian Schools website
Maranatha Christian Schools ISS team website
NanoRacks

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Imagery

image The NanoRacks-Maranatha Christian Schools-Measuring CO2 levels aboard the International Space Station (NanoRacks-MCS-CO2 Sensor) final CO2 sensor assembly inserted into the NanoLab Development System. Image courtesy of Maranatha Christian Schools.
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image The NanoRacks-Maranatha Christian Schools-Measuring CO2 levels aboard the International Space Station (NanoRacks-MCS-CO2 Sensor) student designed board stuffed, wired, and mounted. Image courtesy of Maranatha Christian Schools.
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image NanoRacks-Maranatha Christian Schools-Measuring CO2 levels aboard the International Space Station (NanoRacks-MCS-CO2 Sensor) adjacent to the NanoLab Development System. Image courtesy of Maranatha Christian Schools.
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image The NanoRacks-Maranatha Christian Schools-Measuring CO2 levels aboard the International Space Station (NanoRacks-MCS-CO2 Sensor) is being tested with real life CO2 levels in order to stimulate what the conditions would be like on the International Space Station (ISS). Image provided by Maranantha Christian Schools.
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