An in-line gas monitor capable of accurate gas composition analysis in a continuous real time manner even under strong applied vacuum conditions operates by mixing an air sample with helium forming a sample gas in two complementary sample loops embedded in a manifold which includes two pairs of 3-way solenoid valves. The sample gas is then analyzed in an ion trap mass spectrometer on a continuous basis. Two valve drivers actuate the two pairs of 3-way valves in a reciprocating fashion, so that there is always flow through the in-line gas monitor via one or the other of the sample loops. The duty cycle for the two pairs of 3-way valves is varied by tuning the two valve drivers to a duty cycle typically between 0.2 to 0.7 seconds.
Statement as to Rights to Inventions made under Federally-Sponsored Research and Development
This invention was made with Government support under contract DE-AC05-960R22464 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation and the Government has certain rights in this Invention.