Linde Gases, a division of The Linde Group, announced that Danish Aerospace Company (DAC) has selected Linde’s ECOCYL® specialty gas cylinders to calibrate important respiratory measurement equipment onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Both measurement equipment and cylinders are scheduled for launch on a European Ariane-5 rocket in South America during summer 2014.
DAC is a leader in the field of advanced medical instrumentation for space applications. ECOCYL® will be used to calibrate DAC’s Portable Pulmonary Functional System which will measure vital respiratory functions on astronauts, fitness evaluation and further scientific investigations. Extremely high standards are set by the aerospace industry not only for gases, but for their containers, and it is the first time this unique commercial cylinder will be employed for in-space equipment calibration.
“We are delighted that ECOCYL® has not only been approved, but selected from many contenders for an in-space application such as this”, said Stephen Harrison, Global Head of Specialty Gases and Specialty Equipment, Linde. “All gas products approved for clinical measurement must pass arduous performance testing and to go one step beyond and be approved for clinical diagnostic applications in space is testament to Linde’s technological competence.”
The Portable Pulmonary Functional System must be calibrated regularly to ensure accurate measurement of astronauts’ physiology during flight. With rigorous limits to equipment size and weight in order to minimise load and inventory, a key requirement for calibration gas cylinders is to be extremely lightweight and compact. At 44 centimetres in length, made of aluminium and weighing only 2.4 kilos, ECOCYL® cylinders have provided DAC with true portability, as well as ease of use and convenience for astronauts undertaking the necessary equipment calibration. ECOCYL® cylinders also have a maximum filling pressure of 150 bar, ensuring that they have the optimum weight ratio of gas contents to package.
“In addition to their proven track record of technology competence and innovation, Linde has extensive cylinder package testing protocols, knowledge and documentation, which makes them a reliable partner, and one prepared to work closely with us to develop exactly the right solution,” said Thomas A. E. Andersen, CEO at Danish Aerospace Company.
ECOCYL® is part of the HiQ® portable specialty gas solutions from Linde. The cylinders have an integrated cylinder valve, pressure regulator and flow controller, which are permanently protected by a specially designed protective cowling making them easier to handle than cylinders requiring externally mounted gas handling equipment. DAC has further developed the aluminium cowling and other add-on key features to meet the strictest requirements of this space application.