HORIBA to Supply Water Quality Sensor to NASA

23 October 2009


Enabling the intravenous fluid production in the space

HORIBA received an order from the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to supply water quality sensors to be used in the medical intravenous (IV) fluid production device.

IV fluid is essential for medical treatment and surgical procedures, which should be available at the International Space Station (ISS) for the future long-duration exploration missions. Limitations such as spacecraft capacity and expiration of shelf life make it impossible to deliver enough fresh IV fluid from the earth to the ISS. Therefore NASA is developing an IVGEN (Intra Venous GENeration) system, which reuses the feedstock water in ISS to a purity level of pharmaceutical standards. NASA has selected HORIBA electric conductivity sensor to monitor the impurities and contaminants in the process, for its following exclusive features:

  • Good sensitivity to detect impurities such as metal ions with trace amount of sample (0.25 mL)
  • Clear glass design to allow visual inspection of the air bubble to be removed
  • Measurement stability under the microgravity space environment

The system will be carried to space via the space shuttle launching in March 2010, and be tested at the International Space Station (ISS).

The sensor’s conventional application was for the measurement of surface and industrial supply water. HORIBA expects to explore new applications through this order to contribute further for the better environment and human living.