For those who live with their heads up in the clouds and have never heard about ISS, the International Space Station. It is the largest human-made body in the low Earth orbit that can be seen with the naked eye from Earth. The ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and other fields. Its first component was launched into orbit in 1998 and the station is expected to operate until 2028. The station is also often used for the testing of spacecraft systems and equipment that are later used on missions to the Moon and Mars.
Since 1976, Spinoff is NASA’s premier publication, publishing many of the discoveries from ISS. Each year, Spinoff highlights NASA technologies that are benefiting life on Earth in the form of commercial products. Beyond their medical profiles, there are some unexpected ways we all benefit from the research made in space. One newer spin-off technology is that of a self-cleaning surface.
NASA has researched a process called photocatalysis on the ISS. If your memory serves you well, you will surely remember that Atellani is actually pretty familiar with this process. our Brid Air Purifier’s main cleaning system is one of the cores of P.C.O. Technology. Photocatalysis is the opposite process to photosynthesis of the plants, where light energizes a mineral and triggers chemical reactions that produces carbon dioxide and water. NASA has used this technique to clean the air and water supply on board the IS station. After using photocatalytic scrubbers (basically air purification systems using this photocatalytic process that remove the chemical ethylene) to keep space-grown plants alive, the reaction has made its way into the operating room, where it kept these spaces sterile.
As part of her research, the senior research scientist at Stennis Space Center Lauren Underwood developed a liquid-based way of growing nano crystals of photoactive Titanium Dioxide. The compound acts as a photocatalyst when exposed to ultraviolet, or simply sunlight. When the solution was applied to surfaces at Stennis, they cleaned theirselves independently thanks to the reaction.
So what about present and future applications of this technology? How can we implement it in our daily life? As you may already know by now, a doped version of Titanium Dioxide is actually the super power of Brid Air Purifier’s ceramic filter. We are actually pretty proud to say that when it comes to developing the newest technologies to clean the air that surrounds us, in a human scale, we’ve been doing our job pretty accurately. What we are looking for now is an intelligent way to make use of this technology when it comes to keeping surfaces from our homes, schools, and public spaces germ free. Since scientist Underwood’s latest developments, we can pretty much say we’ve been served with some (astronaut) food for thought.