In-Situ Brings Patented Tech to New Fluorometers — Interview with Product Manager Steve Sewell
As we get ready to roll out three new additions to our smart-sensor portfolio, we sat down with Product Manager Steve Sewell to talk about our new FDOM, Crude Oil and Fluorescein WT fluorometers.
In-Situ: Steve, why was it important to add these sensors to the Aqua TROLL portfolio?
Steve: With these sensors we continue to expand our water monitoring portfolio to provide our customers with a wider selection of parameters and ensure that the Aqua TROLL sonde portfolio meets their monitoring needs. These specific sensors also use our unique optical sensor designs, which solve some pervasive issues for customers in the field.
In-Situ: What does that technology include?
Steve: LEDs will change brightness over time and changes in temperature, which can show up as drift in your measurements. We’ve addressed this issue with a patented design featuring an integrated reference detector that measures light intensity and compensates for changes at every reading. With this technology, we can definitively say that our sensors will not drift because of LED brightness.
Our design also eliminates the risk of interference caused by environmental factors or other sensors. Our sensors excite a smaller range of the light spectrum to hyper-target the reading and minimize interference from other fluorescence sources. They also run at unique frequencies, creating a digital signature that differentiates them from other sensors in proximity.
In-Situ: Where do you foresee customers using these sensors?
Steve: FDOM is the subset of Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM) that fluoresces when exposed to near UV light. This sensor is a great way to track and understand dissolved organic matter (DOM) in natural waters for studies such as understanding water mixing or transportation.
We expect interest in crude oil monitoring to grow with increased oil and gas production in coastal areas and associated risks to the environment. And the Fluorescein WT sensor is highly effective for monitoring for presence or concentration of Fluorescein WT dye used in a variety of types of tracer studies. Each of these sensors has a part to play in a more complete sensor portfolio.
In-Situ: What’s been the reaction from beta customers?
Steve: The feedback has been really positive. We’ve had good success with a customer in Europe who’s done testing on other tracer technologies and has been pleased the Fluorescein sensor’s performance in both lab and field tests.
And with the FDOM sensor, we have a beta tester doing side-by-side testing with comparable sensors and reports that they’re performing well.
For the crude oil sensor, the beta’s tough to do, because unless you have oil in your water the sensor is going to read zero. Of course, we’ve done extensive testing in our lab, and we’ve received good feedback on that one related to usability. So, we feel confident we’ve brought three high-performing sensors to the market.
In-Situ: Why was In-Situ the right company to produce these sensors?
Steve: It really comes down to our optical sensor technology: the ability to compensate for LED drift on every reading and mitigate interferences from the environment and other sensors.
And, with our Aqua TROLL 500 and 600 multiparameter platforms, we’re also leaders in smart sensor technology. Gone are the days when you had to match a sensor to a particular port. You can plug any of ours into any Aqua TROLL port, with or without other sensors, and you’re ready to go.
Unmatched remote monitoring capability is another big reason why it makes sense for us to continue to grow our sensor portfolio and make sure we’re able to meet customers’ needs. Whether it’s a new sensor, a new telemetry device or new software, it’s always exciting to be able to develop something that’s going to help our customers and make their jobs easier.
Learn more about our FDOM, Crude Oil or Fluorescein WT fluorometers.