Personal CO2 Monitor (Personal CO2 Monitor) - 11.22.16

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Humans produce CO2 through the natural breathing process, but too much CO2 in the air can cause headaches, dizziness, increased blood pressure, and much more severe symptoms. All human spacecraft must be designed with environmental control systems that remove CO2 from the air that their crews breathe, but the space environment can still lead to "pockets" of CO2 that are difficult to detect and remove. The Personal CO2 Monitor demonstrates a new capability to continuously monitor the astronauts' immediate surroundings on the International Space Station (ISS).
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Cory Simon, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: Personal CO2 Monitor

Principal Investigator(s)
Cory Simon, NASA, Houston, TX, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Information Pending

Developer(s)
NASA Johnson Space Center, Avionic Systems Division, Houston, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
Technology Demonstration Office (TDO)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Space Exploration, Scientific Discovery

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2016 - February 2017

Expeditions Assigned
47/48,49/50

Previous Missions
This investigation has no prior spaceflight missions. A previous version of the system was evaluated on the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 18 mission in July 2014. Results of the NEEMO mission have been integrated into the new design to ensure reliable data gathering and comfort for the crew.

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The Personal CO2 Monitor demonstrates a system capable of unobtrusively collecting and downlinking individual crew members' CO2 exposure for weeks to months.
  • This investigation evaluates wearability principles in microgravity.
  • The Personal CO2 Monitor also demonstrates Modular Wearable Architecture Base Board, allowing rapid certification of future wearable devices.

Description

Carbon dioxide is a particularly challenging gas to deal with in space. Humans produce CO2 through the natural breathing process, but too much CO2 in the air can cause headaches, dizziness, increased blood pressure, and much more severe symptoms. All human spacecraft must be designed with environmental control systems that remove CO2 from the air that their crews breathe, but the space environment can still lead to "pockets" of CO2 that are difficult to detect and remove. Additionally, recent research has indicated the space environment may make astronauts more sensitive to CO2, meaning symptoms may be more severe or may become apparent at lower concentrations than on Earth. More research is needed, and the ISS is the only laboratory in the world (or off it) where this research can be conducted.
 
The Personal CO2 Monitor demonstrates a new capability on the ISS - continuous monitoring of the astronauts' immediate surroundings. The astronauts attach specially designed CO2 sensors to their clothing and wear them continuously for days to weeks. The sensors will wirelessly send CO2 data to the astronauts' iPads, where mission controllers can download it for researchers. With this new individualized data, researchers will be able to gain a better understanding of the impact of CO2 on human health in space, impacting the ISS and future spacecraft designs.
 
This investigation demonstrates the capability to unobtrusively collect and downlink individual crew members' CO2 exposure for weeks to months. With this new individualized data, researchers can get a better understanding of the impact of CO2 on human health in space, impacting the ISS and future spacecraft designs. Without gravity and with the changes to the human body in space, designing comfortable wearable technology for astronauts is a challenge. Devices that are to be put on the body for a long time must be comfortable. Observation and feedback from astronauts on the "wearability" of the Personal CO2 Monitor in space help engineers and designers create more appropriate wearable technology for future space missions.

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Applications

Space Applications
In addition to monitoring CO2 levels on ISS, the investigation also seeks to learn more about how to design wearable technology for human spaceflight. Observation and feedback from astronauts on the "wearability" of the Personal CO2 Monitor in space help engineers and designers create more appropriate wearable technology for future space missions.

Earth Applications
Many industries require their workers to enter enclosed spaces such as mines, submarines, construction tunnels and pipes, where environmental monitoring is critical to safety. The Personal CO2 Monitoring system may be applied to these fields, and with the addition of an alarm system may serve as a warning device for hazardous conditions. The wearable device is designed in such a way as to allow the CO2 sensing element to be replaced by another sensor, enabling a range of personal monitoring applications. The intentional focus on a very small form factor and comfortable body attachment method, make the device particularly well-suited for continuous wear.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

Crew time is needed for start-up and shut-down tasks associated with each major operational task. Personal CO2 Monitors require three micro-USB cables and USB ports for recharging. Custom application is installed on crew iPads, and a network location to store data for ground controllers to download. Ground controllers download data periodically. The download frequency has not yet been determined but not more than once a day.

Major operational tasks involve initial setup and verification, pairing three Personal CO2 Monitors with iPads, verifying wireless data streams, and sensing accuracy. Three users wear Personal CO2 Monitors for hours/day to complete functional checkout. Three users wear Personal CO2 Monitors for a week or more for long-duration demonstration. Re-verification of the Personal CO2 monitors involves checking the accuracy of the sensors again to monitor sensor drift.  Operational details are determined collaboratively between Payload Developer, PIM (Payload Integration Manager), and Operations representative.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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Imagery