Italian-Electronic NOse for Space exploration (I-ENOS) - 01.24.18

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Electronic NOse for Space exploration (ENOS) is a study involving air quality monitoring and the search for possible anomalies in the internal on-orbit atmosphere utilizing a network of three sensorial I-ENOS units.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Arnaldo D'Amico, Eugenio Martinelli, Corrado Di Natale, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
Arnaldo D'Amico, Universita di Roma Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
Eugenio Martinelli, Universita di Roma Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
Corrado Di Natale, Universita di Roma Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy

Alexandro Catini, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
Marco Santonico, Universita di Roma Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
Francesca Dini, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
Rosa Maria Capuano, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy

University of Rome Tor Vergata, Department of Electronic Engineering, Rome, Italy

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
Italian Space Agency (ASI)

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2011 - September 2011

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
ENEIDE (Esperimento di Navigazione per Evento Italiano Dimostrativo di EGNOS), a related experiment which studied the electronic nose, was previously performed on the ISS in 2005. This experiment involved a prototype technology test of the electronic nose that was developed. The instrument was powered by the ISS, and the data was stored in a PCMCA card which was downloaded to a ground team by crewmember Roberto Vittori. Increment 23/24 is the first planned increment for the ENOS investigation.

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • Italian-Electronic NOse for Space exploration (I-ENOS) is an experiment aimed at studying changes in the atmosphere of the ISS (International Space Station) using a network of sensorial units.

  • The network will provide a spatial representation of the characteristics of the ISS air along a period of three days. It will also enable researchers to correlate the sensorial results with crew activities on board the ISS.

One of the most important issues in long-term manned space missions is the continuous monitoring of the air quality inside the spacecraft. For this study, among several different solutions, the artificial olfactory system has been deemed as one of the promising solutions. Electronic nose systems are based on an array of non-selective chemical sensors coupled with pattern recognition algorithms. Although it is generally considered as a negative characteristic, the absence of selectivity as the basis for a novel instrument able to obtain global information about samples, is somewhat resembling to the functioning of the natural olfaction with odorants.

As part of the I-ENOS experiment, a network of sensorial units will investigate the changes in the ISS air quality for the first time. This experiment will give rise to the creation of a spatial map of ISS air characteristics and its variations along a three-day experiment.

The I-ENOS unit is based on an array of eight quartz crystal microbalance chemical sensors. Each sensor is coated with a different metalloporphyrin (a compound formed by the combination of a porphyrin (group of organic compounds which may occur in nature) and a metal). Besides the sensors array, the electronic nose is composed of pneumatic parts (pumps, valves and tubes), and a processing unit with assigned algorithms which will transform the sensor signals into quantitative or qualitative information about the measured sample.

I-ENOS was designed based upon previous experience from the ENEIDE space mission in 2005.

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Space Applications
The ability to monitor the ISS air quality provides the opportunity to improve the ISS cabin air conditions, and to identify potential real-time anomalies that may occur in the ISS's air quality.

Earth Applications
The solution developed for this experiment will be used in the ground version of the I-ENOS prototype. These improvements will increase of the performance of these systems in terms of robustness and resolution.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols

In order to obtain useful information concerning changes in the ISS air quality, it is necessary that the three I-ENOS units are placed in various well defined positions. It is desired to place one of the three units in the US Lab, one in Node 2 and one in the Columbus orbital facility. I-ENOS must not be placed close to the ISS’s clean air inlet.

The ISS crew will first perform the I-ENOS setup by retrieving the I-ENOS Unit #1 and correctly positioning the battery security system. Following power-up, the I-ENOS Unit #1 can be temporarily stowed, while the other two units are retrieved and the battery security system is correctly positioned. After notifying POIC of the LED and power-on status, two photos will be taken to document the deployed setup using a Nikon® D2Xs™ camera.

To perform the I-ENOS deactivation and stow activity, the crew must retrieve and power-down all three I-ENOS units. After notifying POIC that the units are powered-down, they will be stowed and prepared for return.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

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Results Publications

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

    Martinelli E, Pennazza G, Sintonico M, Starmans D, Paolesse R, D'Amico A, Di Natale C.  Chemical drift counteraction based on pulsed measurements strategy. 12th International Meeting on Chemical Sensors, Columbus, OH; 2008 July 13-16, 2008

    Di Natale C, Paolesse R, Macagnano A, Nardis S, Martinelli E, Dalcanale E, Costa M, D'Amico A.  Sensitivity-selectivity balance in mass sensors: the case of metalloporphyrins. Journal of Materials Chemistry. 2004; 14: 1281-1287. DOI: 10.1039/B313250A.

    Martinelli E, Pennazza G, Di Natale C, D'Amico A.  Chemical sensors clustering with the dynamic moments approach. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical. 2004; 101(3): 346-352. DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2004.04.010.

    Martinelli E, Zampetti E, Pantalei S, Lo Castro F, Santonico M, Pennazza G, Paolesse R, Di Natale C, D'Amico A, Giannini F, Mascetti G, Cotronei V.  Design and test of an electronic nose for monitoring the air quality in the International Space Station. Microgravity Science and Technology. 2008; 19: 60-64.

    Di Natale C, Paolesse R, D'Arcangelo G, Comandini P, Pennazza G, Martinelli E, Rullo S, Roscioni M, Roscioni C, Finazzi-Agro A, D'Amico A.  Identification of schizophrenic patients by examination of body odor using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and a cross-selective gas sensor array. Medical Science Monitor. 2005; 11(8): 366-375. PMID: 16049378.

    Fortezza R, Pontetti G, Martinelli E, Lo Castro F, Di Natale C, D'Amico A.  Soyuz missions and taxi flights: New opportunities for technology development. An example: The ENEIDE mission. Acta Astronautica. 2006; 59(1-5): 351-357. DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2006.02.025.

    D'Amico A, Di Natale C, Martinelli E, Sandro L, Baccarani G.  Sensors small and numerous: always a winning strategy?. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical. 2005 Apr 29; 106(1): 144-152. DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2004.05.046.

    Willers H, de Gijsel P, Ogink N, D'Amico A, Martinelli E, Di Natale C, Van Ras N, van der Waarde J.  Monitoring of biological odour filtration in closed environments with olfactometry and an electronic nose. Water Science and technology: A Journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research. 2004; 50(4): 93-100. PMID: 15484747.

    Martinelli E, Pennazza G, Paolesse R, Milian E, Albiol J, Godia F, Van Ras N, van der Waarde J, Demey D, Di Natale C, D'Amico A.  Monitoring of biofiltration efficiency of bioreactor exhaust air by an electronic nose. 2004 IEEE Sensors Conference, Vienna, Austria; 2004 368-371.

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Related Websites
Sensors Group

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