Your region and language were selected automatically. You can change this at any time in the menu on the site.
Americas | English
  • Americas
  • |
  • English
A member of Altana

We're sorry!

But if you want to change the currently selected region, your products will have to be deleted from your shopping cart for technical reasons.

Customer Support

If you have any questions or need help, we're happy to help!

Phone : +1-301 483-6500-7203

E-Mail :

BYK Gardner’s spectro-guide to orbit the Earth

Geretsried, Germany / Houston, Texas - October 10, 2018

NASA has launched two BYK-Gardner spectro-guide spectrophotometers to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard shuttle Discovery (Orbital Vehicle No. 103).

One critical aspect of spacecraft crew health assurance is maintaining a safe, useable supply of drinking water. To ensure that water provided by the spacecraft distribution and recycling systems is potable, bacterial inhibitors are added. Therefore, the spectro-guides are used as an integral part of an experimental water quality monitoring system developed by a team of scientists and engineers from NASA’s Habitability and Environmental Factors Division in the Space Life Sciences Directorate at Johnson Space Center, the Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering Group in Houston, Texas, the University of Utah, and Iowa State University. The system is called the Colorimetric Water Quality Monitoring Kit (CWQMK), and it uses color measurements to help ensure that only the appropriate biocide levels are present in the water on ISS. Before, all samples used to monitor spacecraft water quality were collected in-flight and stored until returned to earth for chemical analysis. Not ideal because of sample degradation during storage and the time lapse between sampling and correction steps in real time – if needed.

As part of pre-deployment procedures, the spectro-guide had to pass a Procedure Validation (PV) session with NASA’s astronaut corps. The PV session allows an astronaut to run through the onorbit procedures to make sure that there won’t be any confusion during crew training or during deployment on the ISS. Due to the simplicity and ease of operation of the spectro-guide, there were no issues during the PV session. Subsequently, operational procedures were approved and seven astronauts were trained on the hardware.


The spectro-guide instruments that are used on the ISS are virtually the same as those used by thousands of color measurement professionals on earth. They feature advanced patented technology that make them the most accurate, reliable, and dependable color spectrophotometers available:

  • Temperature independent readings – the same results at 15 °C or 38 °C are guaranteed
  • Long-term stable LED illumination – no bulbs to burn out
  • Calibration suggested only every 3 months – not every hour
  • No warm up period needed
  • Highly accurate, repeatable readings through robotic calibration during manufacturing
  • Virtually never needs service due to advanced design

The spectro-guide and the Discovery – a strong team to go
where no color spectrophotometer has gone before!

Subscribe to our Newsletter and stay informed! subscribe

Please fill out this form in order to access the requested file

Please enter a valid first name
Please enter a valid last name
Please enter a valid company name
Please select an Industrial Sector
Please enter a valid email address
Please enter a valid phone number

By submitting this form I accept the Privacy Policy Statement

You can now download the requested file.