A solid-state sensor was developed that measures the concentrations of one or more gases of interest in a mixture of gases. This simple solid-state sensor produces a voltage signal that is sensitive to CO concentration from percent to ppm (parts per million) levels. It was intended originally for use in measuring concentrations of carbon monoxide in fuel and oxidizer gases generated on Mars in a process that would include the decomposition of atmospheric CO2 into CO and O2 In that application, the sensor would be capable of measuring high concentrations of CO expected to occur on the fuel side of the process, yet would be selective and sensitive enough to measure the low concentrations of CO in O2 expected on the oxidizer side of the process. On Earth, sensors like this one could be used to detect toxic concentrations of CO emitted in diverse processes, including refining of petroleum and combustion of hydrocarbon fuels in furnaces and automobiles.

This work was done by Eric D. Wachsman and Abdul-Majeed Azad of the University of Florida for Kennedy Space Center. For further information contact the Kennedy Commercial Technology Office at 321-867-6224. KSC-12256

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the April, 2002 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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