Environmental Protection

Astronauts Use TOC Analyzer to Check Reclaimed Water

The crew aboard the International Space Station has plenty of extra water thanks to a next-generation portable water analysis tool provided by Wyle that allows astronauts to test and safely drink reclaimed water.

The Wyle-developed Total Organic Carbon Analyzer supports operation of a new water processor assembly aboard the station. This assembly provides enough water to support the first permanent six-person crew, due to arrive on the International Space Station this summer, and will eliminate the need to lift up to 7.5 tons of water to the station each year.

NASA delivered the device to the International Space Station on the Space Shuttle Endeavor last November. The station's new water processing assembly is capable of producing about 1.3 liters (0.34 gallons) of recycled potable water per crewmember each day, and Wyle's Total Organic Carbon Analyzer ensures the purity of the water. The result is a 65 percent decrease in the amount of water that needs to be delivered to each crew member.

The Total Organic Carbon Analyzer determines water quality by measuring organic carbon levels to ensure the water is safe for human consumption. It operates by converting organic carbons to carbon dioxide via an electrochemical oxidation reaction. This is a significant advancement over the previous analyzer, which used hazardous chemicals to perform the oxidation process. The system was designed and developed by Wyle with its commercial technology partner OI Analytical as well as its local business partners in Houston.

Wyle, a privately held company, is a leading provider of high tech aerospace engineering and information technology services to the federal government on long-term outsourcing contracts. The company also provides life sciences services for NASA's astronaut corps as well as mission critical support services and space simulation; test and evaluation of aircraft, weapon systems, networks, and other government assets; and other engineering services to the aerospace, defense, nuclear power, communications and transportation industries.

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