VISTA Instrument: A PCM-Based sensor for organics and volatiles characterization by using thermogravimetric technique

F. Dirri, E. Palomba, A. Longobardo, D. Biondi, A. Boccaccini, A. Galiano, E. Zampetti, B. Saggin, D. Scaccabarozzi, J. Martin-Torres

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

8 Citations (Scopus)


VISTA (Volatile In Situ Thermogravimetry Analyser) is a μ-Thermogravimeter sensor developed by Consortium of Italian Institutes. ThermoGravimetric Analysis (TGA) is a widely used technique to monitor thermal processes involving volatile compounds, e.g.deposition/sublimation and absorption/ desorption. The instrument core is composed by a Piezoelectric Crystal Microbalance (PCM), equipped with built-in heater and built-in temperature sensor, and provided of its own Proximity Electronics (PE). The PCM oscillation frequency linearly depends on the mass deposited on its sensible area (according to Sauerbrey equation) while the PCM temperature can be increased by means of integrated heaters. Thus, mass and volatile composition can be inferred by the frequency change and by desorption temperature, respectively. The instrument is divided in two sensor heads: VISTA1, able to monitor outgassing processes in space, and VISTA2, able to reach higher temperatures, studying the dehydration and organics decomposition in minerals in different environmental conditions. An Engineering Model of VISTA1 and a laboratory breadboard of VISTA2 have been developed. Pure organic compounds and contaminant have been characterized by using deposition processes and TGA cycles obtaining some physical-chemical parameters, i.e. enthalpy of sublimation/evaporation, Δ Hsub,evap , deposition rates, k and vapor pressures, P vap . The instrument concept, the scientific objectives and the laboratory measurements are explained in this work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication5th IEEE International Workshop on Metrology for AeroSpace, MetroAeroSpace 2018 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781538624746
ISBN (Print)9781538624753
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2018
Event5th IEEE International Workshop on Metrology for AeroSpace - Rome, Italy
Duration: 20 Jun 201822 Jun 2018

Publication series

ISSN (Electronic)2575-7490


Conference5th IEEE International Workshop on Metrology for AeroSpace


  • Contamination
  • Organic and volatile characterization
  • Piezoelectric Crystal Microbalance
  • Space missions
  • Thermogravimetric technique
  • crystal
  • Microbalance
  • organic and volatile characterization
  • space missions


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