Real Time Oxygen Sensor


Inventor: Ben Van Mooy, Richard Keil
Serial #: 13/476,531

Applications: The static measurement of dissolved oxygen as a surrogate for the metabolic status of algal and bacterial cultures is used in aquaculture and waste water management, respectively. Existing methodologies are laboratory-based, require several days to process, and measure dissolved oxygen as opposed to metabolic status.  Thus, these methods do not provide real time information on the actual health of the biomass in the water column and cannot be used to inform instantaneous adjustment of culture conditions.   Woods Hole scientists have developed a semi-autonomous system which passively samples the water column, and performs real time oxygen consumption measurements under in situ conditions for quick turn-around, direct measurement of biological oxygen demand.  The unit can also be used as an early warning detector of toxic releases and spills into sensitive environmental areas. Working ocean prototypes have been developed.

Technology: Oxygen concentrations are tracked on passively acquired samples using oxygen optodes in incubations conducted at the depth and/or location where samples are taken. Data are transmitted directly without the need for sample recovery, disposal, or manipulation. Time-based recordings are made from both light-exposed and dark (control) sample chambers.  No wet chemistry is involved and the device may be operated and maintained by personnel with minimal training.