COLUMBIA, MD – NASA will soon launch two BYK-Gardner spectro-guide spectrophotometers to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Shuttle Discovery. The spectro-guides are part of an experimental water-quality monitoring system developed by a team of scientists and engineers from NASA, the Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering Group in Houston, the University of Utah and Iowa State University. The system, called the Colorimetric Water Quality Monitoring Kit (CWQMK), uses color measurements to help ensure that appropriate biocide levels are present in the water on the ISS.

As part of pre-deployment procedures, the spectro-guide recently passed a procedure validation (PV) session with NASA’s astronaut corps. The PV session allows an astronaut to run through the on-orbit procedures to make sure there won’t be any confusion during crew training or during deployment on the ISS. There were no issues during the PV session, operational procedures were approved, and seven astronauts were trained on the hardware in June and July.

The spectro-guides that will be used on the ISS are virtually the same as those used by thousands of color measurement professionals on earth.