Electronic noses are nothing new, but it's always interesting when you throw space into the mix. NASA's most recent Endeavor mission has taken with it a third generation e-nose that's the size of a shoebox, where it will act as a detection and warning system for air contaminants. The ISS currently has no system and relies wholly on the astronauts' actual noses. Developed and built by AEMC, the new nose's dynamic range is from less than one part per million to about 10,000 parts per million -- much more sensitive than human honkers. The e-nose has 32 sensors made of polymer films that respond to different chemicals by changing electrical conductivity, and it's capable of both detecting and analyzing what it "smells." The nose is going to be operational on the space station for a beginning trial period of six months, and we have a feeling that its first accomplishment will be to point out that there's something strange about the water.

[Via Physorg]

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NASA's newest e-nose for ISS thinks you're wearing too much cologne