Water recovery from wastewater is considered required for long-duration human exploration missions away from Earth. Without substantial water recovery, life support systems launch weights are prohibitively large. To insure the quality of this water, NASA is seeking miniature analytical systems i.e., sensor suites capable of simultaneous measurement of inorganic or organic species in potable and waste water.
In this proposed STTR project TDA Research, in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez (UPRM), will develop a miniature device that can quickly analyze mineral and organic species in water. The device will provide near-real-time analysis with increased sensitivity and signal to noise ratio for metal cations and organic species such as the dimethanesilanediol, chloroform, dichloromethane, benzene etc. in water at low concentrations.
In Phase I we will carry out a proof-of-concept demonstration in a breadboard device and complete the design for a high fidelity device to minimize the monitor’s footprint and overall dimensions, elevating the TRL to 4. In Phase II we will build a high-fidelity prototype with reduced dimensions, and demonstrate the analysis of various mineral and organic constituents, elevating the TRL to 6.
Potential NASA applications would be technologies that fill specific gaps in capabilities needed for spacecraft water management in the area of environmental monitoring. NASA is looking for technologies that identify and quantify inorganic and organic species in water for use during long-duration human missions away from Earth
The water monitoring market is very large, and is projected to reach USD $7.54 Billion by 2027. There is a need to have one portable device that can quantity both mineral and organic species with minimal sample preparation and ease of use.