Aerosol Sampling Experiment on the International Space Station



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47th International Conference on Environmental Systems


The International Space Station (ISS) is a unique indoor environment which serves as both home and workplace to the astronaut crew. There is currently no particulate monitoring, although particulate matter requirements exist. An experiment to collect particles in the ISS cabin was conducted recently. Two different aerosol samplers were used for redundancy and to collect particles in two size ranges spanning from 10 nm to hundreds of micrometers. The Active Sampler is a battery operated thermophoretic sampler with an internal pump which draws in air and collects particles directly on a transmission electron microscope grid. This commercial-off-the-shelf device was modified for operation in low gravity. The Passive Sampler has five sampling surfaces which were exposed to air for different durations in order to collect at least one sample with an optimal quantity of particles for microscopy. These samples were returned to Earth for analysis with a variety of techniques to obtain long-term average concentrations and identify particle emission sources. Results are compared with the inventory of ISS aerosols which was created based on sparse data and the literature. The goal of the experiment is to obtain data on indoor aerosols on ISS for future particulate monitor design and development.


Marit Meyer, NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), USA
ICES510: Planetary and Spacecraft Dust Properties and Mitigation Technologies
The 47th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in South Carolina, USA on 16 July 2017 through 20 July 2017


aerosol, indoor air quality, particulate matter, spacecraft cabin