Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 60

SPINOFF
M
oon dust isn't like the dust on a
bookshelf. It is ubiquitous and
abrasive, and it clings to everything. It's
so bad that it even broke the vacuum
NASA designed to clean the Moon dust
off Apollo spacesuits. With NASA's
return to the Moon, the dust - which is
dangerous for people and equipment -
will have to be managed. The first step is
knowing how much is around at any
given time. Efforts to do just that are
already paying off on Earth in the fight
against air pollution.
Apollo missions struggled to deal with
damage done by lunar dust. It clogged
the camera equipment and scratched
helmet visors so badly that astronauts
had difficulty seeing. Breathing in the
dust caused astronauts to experience
sneezing, watery eyes, and a sore throat.
Sensitive tissues such as the lungs and
corneas can be damaged by lunar dust
trapped inside a habitat. While air filtration
can remove a great deal of the tiny
particles, an air-quality sensor is necessary
to ensure the controls are effective.
Lunar Outpost Inc. was founded in
Denver, CO in 2017 with the goal of
developing technologies
for lunar exploration and
then adapting them for
use on Earth. The company
developed an air-quality
sensor it called the
Space Canary, which it
offered to Lockheed Mar -
tin Space to integrate into
its environmental control
system. Rebranded Ca -
nary-S (Solar), it's now
filling a need for low-cost,
wireless air-quality and
meteorological monitoring
on Earth.
Particulate matter on
Earth is a form of air pollution
generated by forest
fires, volcanic eruptions,
and burning fossil fuels,
among other processes.
The particles, a mix of liq60
Cov
Spinoff
is NASA's annual publication featuring
successfully commercialized NASA technology. This
commercialization has contributed to the development
of products and services in the fields of health and
medicine, consumer goods, transportation, public safety,
computer technology, and environmental resources.
Measuring Moon Dust to Fight Air Pollution
NASA's need to contain hazardous lunar dust led to technology that senses other pollutants.
As the Apollo astronauts explored the lunar surface, they had to contend with lunar dust, which is
abrasive and damaging to equipment and lungs. (Credit: NASA)
uid and solid, are tiny - much smaller
than a grain of sand. Having a measurement
system like Lunar Outpost's system
would help NASA understand the environment
astronauts are experiencing
and help the agency stay within recommended
exposure limits.
The Canary-S can monitor forest
fire emissions, evaluate urban air
quality, and more. (Credit: Lunar
Outpost)
The Canary-S is a
self-contained unit pow -
ered by solar energy
and a battery that transmits
data using cellular
technology. It can measure
a variety of pollutants
including particulate
matter, carbon mon -
oxide, methane, sulfur
dioxide, and volatile or -
ganic compounds. The
device is constantly taking
measurements and
sends a message up to a
secure cloud every min -
ute, where it's routed
to Lunar Outpost's Webbased
dashboard or a
customer's database for
viewing and analysis.
The Canary-S is de -
ployed in 15 states
www.techbriefs.com
ToC
and across numerous industries in -
cluding the U.S. Forest Service, which
is using the Canary-S to monitor forest-fire
emissions in real time. Fire -
fighters have been exhibiting symptoms
of carbon monoxide poisoning
for decades. The Canary-S reveals
where and when carbon monoxide
levels are sky-high, making it possible
to issue warnings to take the necessary
precautions.
The city of Denver chose the Canary
sensor to collect air-quality data at
local schools to educate and inform
teachers, parents, and students about
their local air quality. The data quantified
the benefits of a no-idle campaign
near schools and provided general
emissions pollution in key sites around
the city.
In the oil and gas industry, the sensors
can help provide evidence for how
effective environmental controls are.
That data can help justify the cost of
those controls. Without the readings,
the oil and gas producers have no way
to prove that their efforts are reducing
their impact on the environment.
Visit https://spinoff.nasa.gov/moon-dustsensor-pollution.
Tech
Briefs, August 2021
https://spinoff.nasa.gov/moon-dust-sensor-pollution http://www.techbriefs.com http://www.abpi.net/ntbpdfclicks/l.php?202108MDNAV

Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021

Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 1
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 2
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 3
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 4
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 5
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 6
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Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 8
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 9
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Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Cov3
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Cov4
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-1
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-2
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-3
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-4
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Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-32
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-33
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Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-35
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-36
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-37
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-38
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-39
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-40
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-Cov3
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