Improved water analysis for long-duration manned space exploration
MacAskill, John A.
MetadataShow full item record
New mass spectrometer technologies and methods of water analysis are being investigated at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A water sampling module was recently developed that incorporates precise split-splitless control, high-temperature volatilization, and on-column injection and allows virtually any gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GCMS) to sample microliter volumes of water and analyze for volatile organics. This approach works remarkably well for detecting light organics; however the reliance on GC columns makes it ill-suited for analysis of low-volatility organics, and incapable of analyzing for inorganics. Alternative detectors and mass spectrometer designs are being explored for improved water analysis. New sampling and ionization approaches are also being explored to investigate the feasibility of performing water analysis without the need for any chromatography. The results of these studies are presented herein.