Measuring conductivity and analysing water quality in space

Paul Boughton

ITT Corporation's that its OI Analytical branded total organic carbon analyser (TOCA) and WTW  branded VARIO conductivity temperature meter have been selected by NASA for inclusion on the final flight of the space shuttle Discovery. The instruments will be used by the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) to measure conductivity and analyse water quality. ITT Corporation formed ITT Analytics in March 2010 following the company's acquisition of Nova Analytics, to provide customers with high quality, superior performance analytical instrumentation for measurement and analysis.

The OI Analytical TOCA from ITT Analytics was developed in collaboration with NASA specifically for use on the ISS. The TOCA will be used on-board to analyse the organic carbon level in water that has been processed and purified ensuring it is safe for human consumption in line with SSP 50260, International Space Station Medical Operations Requirements Document.

Possessing innovative electrochemical-oxidation technology the TOCA maintains excellent long-term calibration stability providing accurate and dependable data with minimal maintenance. The instrument's color
touch-screen display with Windows CE-based user interface simplifies instrument set-up and access to data, trending and diagnostic screens.

The ISS crew will also use the WTW VARIO conductivity temperature meter from ITT Analytics to measure conductivity of water within the ISS oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) to ensure the continued operation of the station's oxygen generation system.  The instrument's robust and ergonomic design makes it particularly suited for this demanding application while its innovative touch screen enables all functions to be performed single-handedly. In addition to offering a high level of precision when measuring conductivity, temperature, specific resistance, salinity or TDS (total dissolved solids) of a solution, the meter's pure water conductivity cell with flow-through vessel enables users to make rapid and easily controlled measurements.

"ITT Analytics is delighted that two of its instruments will be playing a key role in Discovery's final mission," said Chris McIntire, president of ITT Analytics. "The instruments' high precision, robust nature and
accessibility will ensure superior performance in the ISS's demanding environment."

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