Navigation Links
Ah, that new car smell: NASA technology protects spacecraft from outgassed molecular contaminants
Date:11/19/2012

Outgassing the physical process that creates that oh-so-alluring new car smell isn't healthy for humans and, as it turns out, not particularly wholesome for sensitive satellite instruments, either. But a team of NASA engineers has created a new way to protect those instruments from its ill effects.

For some people, the best part about buying a new car is its factory-fresh new car smell, a distinctive aroma created when the chemicals and residual solvents used to manufacture dashboards, car seats, carpeting and other vehicle appointments outgas and fill the cabin. While the scent may be alluring to some, many researchers believe exposure to these gases isn't particularly healthy so unhealthy, in fact, that some recommend that drivers keep their new cars ventilated while driving.

Outgassed solvents, epoxies, lubricants, and other materials aren't especially wholesome for contamination-sensitive telescope mirrors, thermal-control units, high-voltage electronic boxes, cryogenic instruments, detectors and solar arrays, either. As a result, NASA engineers are always looking for new techniques to prevent these gases from adhering to instrument and spacecraft surfaces and potentially shortening their lives.

A group of technologists has created a low-cost, easy-to-apply solution, which is more effective than current techniques.

Led by Principal Investigator Sharon Straka, an engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., the team has created a new, patent-pending sprayable paint that adsorbs these gaseous molecules and stops them from affixing to instrument components. Made of zeolite, a mineral widely used in industry for water purification and other uses, and a colloidal silica binder that acts as the glue holding the coating together, the new molecular adsorber is highly permeable and porous attributes that trap the outgassed contaminants. Because it doesn't contain volatile organics, the material itself doesn't cause additional outgassing.

"It looks promising," Straka said. "It collects significantly more contaminants than other approaches."

Advantages Over Current Techniques

Instrument developers currently use zeolite-coated cordierite devices that look like hockey pucks. Because each individual puck has limited adsorbing capabilities, instrument designers must install multiple units, which require complex mounting hardware. "These devices are big, heavy and chunky, and take up a lot of real estate," explained Co-Principal Investigator Mark Hasegawa, of NASA Goddard.

The new paint, however, overcomes these limitations by providing a low-mass alternative. Because technicians can spray the paint directly onto surfaces, no extra mounting equipment is necessary. In addition, technicians can coat adhesive strips or tape and then place these pieces in strategic locations within an instrument, spacecraft cavity, or vacuum system, further simplifying adsorber design. "This is an easy technology to insert at a relatively low risk and cost," Hasegawa said "The benefits are significant."

Since its development, Northrop Grumman, Redondo Beach, Calif.; the European Space Agency; the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder; and Spica Technologies of Hollis, N.H., have expressed interest in using the material, Straka said. In addition, NASA's ICESat2 ATLAS project is evaluating its use, pending the outcome of additional tests, she said.

The team plans to tweak its recipe to enhance the paint's performance and experiment with different pigments, mainly black, to create a coating to absorb stray light that can overcome the light scientists actually want to gather. Straka also believes the technology could be used on the International Space Station or future space habitats to trap pollutants and odors in crew quarters.

"We're ready for primetime," Straka said. "The coating is undergoing qualification tests and is ready for infusion into flight projects or ground vacuum systems."


'/>"/>

Contact: Lori Keesey
ljkeesey@comcast.net
301-258-0192
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Labor der Zukunft -- Tomorrows laboratory technology
2. The future of plant science - a technology perspective
3. The future of plant science a technology perspective
4. Ultracold matter technology from CU and SRI International licensed to Boulders ColdQuanta
5. UF researchers look for ways to make an emerging technology safe for environment
6. Breast cancer risk gene discovery fast tracked by new technology
7. Obese patients face higher radiation exposure from CT scans -- but new technology can help
8. NYU School of Medicine presents 2012 Dart/NYU Biotechnology Achievement Awards
9. Powerful sequencing technology decodes DNA folding pattern
10. New technology tracks sparrow migration for first time from California to Alaska
11. M2SYS Technology Partners with Hitachi to Offer Innovative Biometric Finger Vein Scanner to US Market
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Ah, that new car smell: NASA technology protects spacecraft from outgassed molecular contaminants
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 ... Cloud used by retailers such as 1-800-Flowers and ... platform — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine ... more personalized product and replenishment recommendations to their ... also on predictions of customer intent drawn from ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... , March 20, 2017 At this year,s CeBIT ... -based biometrics manufacturer DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together ... is this year,s CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics company ... use: fingerprint, face and iris recognition as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... March 16, 2017 CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG ... ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution ... Used combined in one ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... Alevio, LLC ( ... the 500th case using the SiCure Sacroiliac Joint Fusion System. , SiCure is ... SiCure can be implanted in either a lateral or posterior approach, and is ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... ... UK Ltd (Bock) announced a strategic partnership where Bock will demonstrate DuPont’s ... OPTIMASH® AD-100, has been shown to help biogas producers in the agricultural sector ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 28, 2017 , ... Supplies of ... of leading experts gathered at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) ... of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), which is used in 30 to 40 million nuclear medicine procedures ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... The recent vote by the American Medication ... gives new hope to patients and hopefully sheds new light on the way health ... an infertility expert and founding partner of Texas Fertility Center . , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: