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Space Station crew can do bio experiments thanks to SETi's UV LEDS

High power LEDs decontaminate surfaces, liquids and air inside experiment 'glovebox'

Conducting science experiments in space aboard the International Space Station, presents many challenges from working in a microgravity. But thanks to the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG), those aboard the space station have been able to safely conduct their experiments since 2004.

Over the past ten years, the MSG has been put to good use on a wide range of research programs but now, thanks to the activation of a new decontamination system inside the MSG, crew members can safely perform biological research.

Developed and built by Teledyne Brown Engineering (TBE) the decontamination system makes use of high-power Uvclean ultraviolet LEDs developed by Sensor Electronic Technology Inc (SETi) in part through the DARPA Compact Mid-Ultraviolet Technology (CMUVT) program.

Above: NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, Expedition 38 flight engineer, prepares to test the ultraviolet light decontamination hardware. Image Credit: NASA

The UV LEDs have the power to sanitise the surfaces, liquids and air inside the MSG in a matter of minutes and are used before and after the experiments are conducted for the safety of the crew. 

The upgraded MSG with TBE's decontamination system and SETi's UV LEDs will allow for a much wider range of microgravity experiments and will be available to all biological payloads that operate in the MSG with a concern about contamination. 

"Our products passed space flight qualification in the past", commented Remis Gaska, president and CEO of SETi, "However, this is the first space launch, installation and successful testing of our devices in the orbit. This demonstrates the level of maturity of Deep UV LED technology". 

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