The “Endeavour” space shuttle was recently launched carrying the apple of the eye of SINTEF scientist Atle Honne; gas measurement equipment and associated software for checking astronauts’ “indoor” climate.
In a few weeks, the 59-year-old SINTEF senior scientist will sit in a control room at NASA in Houston, where he will check that everything is working properly when the equipment is installed in the International Space Station (ISS).
Tests on board the Space Station
ANITA will be tested on board the ISS for ten days. If the instrument passes its exams, the next version could become the space station’s regular air-quality monitoring system.
However, the equipment will not be switched off when the ten-day test phase is over. Since it is already installed, NASA will use it to acquire better air-quality data in the ISS, in the first instance for six months.
“Down-to earth” benefits too
The measurement system, known as ANITA, is the result of a cooperative project between SINTEF and the German company Kayser-Threde GmbH. But although Honne has been project manager on the Norwegian side since day one of the project, he is no “space freak”.
“My involvement, and SINTEF’s, is due to the fact that the measurement technology involved is also highly suitable for use on Earth. It can be used for everything from monitoring industrial processes to checking the indoor climate of submarines and other environments where such checks are important”, says Honne.
All the same, it is a feather in his cap that the system should have become part of the space adventure.
“It is the most demanding market you can image”, says Honne proudly.
Makes countermeasures possible
The idea of ANITA is to prevent astronauts in the Space Station from having to breathe in unpleasant, toxic or carcinogenic gases.
Just as on Earth, gases diffuse out of walls, furnishings and equipment. Others may come from leakages or overheating, while the human body also emits gases. ANITA will enable astronauts to adopt countermeasures in the event of leaks or failures of the air purification system.
The gas monitoring equipment already installed on board the ISS measures only a few gases frequently and rapidly. Others are checked with a reaction time measured in hours, while some can only be measured after air samples have been returned to Earth.
Rapid but sensitive
ANITA is the leading candidate to take over the measurement programme on a permanent basis.
The wholly automatic system is sensitive, recognises and indicates the concentrations of individual gases, works rapidly and can present its results without delay. It “sees” the gases by means of beams of infrared light. Honne has developed the methods that the system uses to interpret its measurement data.
Back on Earth, Honne regards an ideal working day as one during which he has helped to produce results that “improve human health and make a few companies more wealthy, while giving me some interesting work to do”.
Aase Dragland | alfa
Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz
Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences
27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research
27.02.2017 | Life Sciences