Development of Portable Gas Chromatograph Using Ball Surface Acoustic Wave Sensor with Air Carrier Gas for Crewed Space Environment Monitoring


In a crewed space environment, monitoring of trace volatile compounds in the atmosphere is necessary to ensure the health of the crews and the vehicle systems. Gas chromatographs (GC) are one of the effective tools for analyzing such a wide variety of gases. We have developed a prototype of 1 L sized GC using a ball surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor, a small and high sensitivity sensor that utilizes multiple roundtrips of the SAW on a spherical element, as the GC's detector. However, the prototype used a hydrogen storage canister to supply the carrier gas, which required strict safety measures for use in space. On the other hand, using supplying nitrogen or helium, which are safe gases, with high-pressure cylinders would increase the weight of the GC system. Therefore, we are studying using recirculated air as a carrier gas without cylinders. However, using air as carrier gas results in lower separation performance than using hydrogen. In this study, we developed a portable GC using the ball SAW sensor with air carrier gas and demonstrated the feasibility of acceptable separation performance.


Takamitsu Iwaya, Ball Wave Inc., Japan
Shingo Akao, Ball Wave Inc., Japan
Nobuo Takeda, Ball Wave Inc., Japan
Tatsuhiro Okano, Ball Wave Inc., Japan
Hideyuki Fukushi, Ball Wave Inc., Japan
Toru Oizumi, Ball Wave Inc., Japan
Akinobu Takeda, Ball Wave Inc., Japan
Kazushi Yamanaka, Ball Wave Inc., Japan
Yosuke Kaneko, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Japan
Asuka Shima, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Japan
ICES205: Advanced Life Support Sensor and Control Technology
The 53rd International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, on 21 July 2024 through 25 July 2024.


gas chromatograph, surface acoustic wave sensor, trace gas monitoring, gas analysis