TR2007-105

Autonomous Field-deployable Device for the measurement of Phosphate in Natural Water


    •  Slater, C.; Cleary, J.; McGraw, C.M.; Yerazunis, W.S.; Lau, K.T.; Diamond, D., "Autonomous Field-deployable Device for the Measurement of Phosphate in Natural Water", SPIE Advanced Environmental, Chemical and Biological Sensing Technologies, September 2007, vol. 6755.
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      • @inproceedings{Slater2007sep,
      • author = {Slater, C. and Cleary, J. and McGraw, C.M. and Yerazunis, W.S. and Lau, K.T. and Diamond, D.},
      • title = {Autonomous Field-deployable Device for the Measurement of Phosphate in Natural Water},
      • booktitle = {SPIE Advanced Environmental, Chemical and Biological Sensing Technologies},
      • year = 2007,
      • volume = 6755,
      • month = sep,
      • url = {http://www.merl.com/publications/TR2007-105}
      • }
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This work describes the ongoing development of an autonomous platform for the measurement of phosphate levels in river water. This device is designed to operate unassisted for one year, taking a measurement every hour and relaying the result to a laptop computer. A first generation prototype has already been developed and successfully field tested. The system contains the sampling, chemical storage, fluid handing, colorimetric data acquisition and waste storage capabilities necessary to perform the phosphate measurement. In addition to this, the device has the embedded control, GSM communications system and power supply to allow independent operation. The entire system is placed inside a compact and rugged enclosure. Further work discussed here builds on the successes of the prototype design to deliver a system capable of one full year of operation. The second generation system has been built from the ground up. Although identical in operation of the prototype its design has a greater emphasis on power efficient components and power management to allow for a longer lifetime. Other improvements include an automated two-point calibration to compensate for drift and a more rugged design to further increase the lifetime of the device.