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Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Mass Spectrometer Operating Life Improvements
ISSN: 1946-3855, e-ISSN: 1946-3901
Published June 29, 2008 by SAE International in United States
Citation: Granahan, J. and Thoresen, S., "Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Mass Spectrometer Operating Life Improvements," SAE Int. J. Aerosp. 1(1):25-32, 2009, https://doi.org/10.4271/2008-01-1966.
The Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) is a mass spectrometer system that measures the major constituents of the International Space Station (ISS) atmosphere. Experience has indicated that the operating life of the mass spectrometer is limited by the operating life of the ion pump, which maintains mass spectrometer vacuum. This paper summarizes the use of trend data from on orbit operations and ground testing to identify and understand the factors affecting ion pump life and to predict ion pump life on orbit. In addition, potential improvements currently under consideration to increase ion pump life, and therefore mass spectrometer life, are discussed.