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Spaulding R.S.,Sunburst Sensors, LLC | Degrandpre M.D.,University of Montana | Beck J.C.,Sunburst Sensors, LLC | Hart R.D.,University of Montana | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2014

Total alkalinity (AT) is an important parameter for describing the marine inorganic carbon system and understanding the effects of atmospheric CO2 on the oceans. Measurements of AT are limited, however, because of the laborious process of collecting and analyzing samples. In this work we evaluate the performance of an autonomous instrument for high temporal resolution measurements of seawater AT. The Submersible Autonomous Moored Instrument for alkalinity (SAMI-alk) uses a novel tracer monitored titration method where a colorimetric pH indicator quantifies both pH and relative volumes of sample and titrant, circumventing the need for gravimetric or volumetric measurements. The SAMI-alk performance was validated in the laboratory and in situ during two field studies. Overall in situ accuracy was -2.2 ± 13.1 μmol kg-1 (n = 86), on the basis of comparison to discrete samples. Precision on duplicate analyses of a carbonate standard was ±4.7 μmol kg-1 (n = 22). This prototype instrument can measure in situ AT hourly for one month, limited by consumption of reagent and standard solutions. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Spaulding R.,Sunburst Sensors, LLC | DeGrandpre M.,University of Montana | Harris K.,University of Montana
Sea Technology | Year: 2011

The SAMI-C02 and SAMI-pH instruments demonstrate the power of using pH and Ar data to quantify the entire carbonate system. Shipboard systems are routinely used to measure pCO2, pH, DIC and AT. The SAMI-C0 2 and SAMI-pH are both colorimetric, reagent-based sensors and have very similar designs. Both use a solenoid pump and a solenoid valve for fluid control. The solutions are pumped to a fiber optic flow cell where absorbance measurements are made. While the original SAMIs have made significant progress in autonomous pH and CO2 sensing, five years of research and development has culminated in the SAMI2, which features the same data-collection capabilities in a smaller package that consumes less power and is easier to use. The ability of the SAMI instruments to operate autonomously for long time periods allows oceanographers and marine biologists to study the effects of increasing C02.


DeGrandpre M.D.,University of Montana | Spaulding R.S.,Sunburst Sensors, LLC | Newton J.O.,Sunburst Sensors, LLC | Jaqueth E.J.,University of Montana | And 3 more authors.
Limnology and Oceanography: Methods | Year: 2014

Indicator-based spectrophotometric pH is commonly used for the analysis of seawater because of its high precision and long-term reproducibility. Users come from an increasingly diverse range of disciplines, primarily motivated by studies focused on the causes and effects of ocean acidification. While the analysis is readily implemented and straightforward, there are many variables that must be predetermined or measured, all of which can contribute uncertainty to the measurement. The indicator equilibrium constant and molar absorption coefficient ratios are available in the literature, but for various reasons, the conditions of analysis can be different, creating errors. Most of the parameters are temperature, salinity, and pressure dependent, posing potential additional errors. Indicator impurities and indicator perturbation of the sample pH also create uncertainties. We systematically evaluate all of the sources of error and compute how the errors propagate into CO2 equilibrium calculations of the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and calcium carbonate saturation states (Ω). The primary sources of uncertainty originate from wavelength and absorbance errors in low quality or poorly functioning spectrophotometers (0.007 to 0.020 pH units) and indicator impurities (0.000 to >0.040 pH units). These errors generate pCO2 and Ω uncertainties of 11-200 μatm and 0.08-0.38, respectively, depending upon the pH value and its uncertainty. © 2014, by the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Inc.


Grant
Agency: Department of Commerce | Branch: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 399.99K | Year: 2013

Quantifying oceanic CO2 uptake and ocean acidification and understanding their impact on global climate and ocean ecology are key goals of NOAA’s climate change research programs. NOAA’s request for Development of a long-term Lagrangian pH and pCO2 drifter (SBIR Subtopic 8.3.1C) aims to address these goals by developing technology that measures both pCO2 and pH that can be widely deployed in the world’s oceans. Sunburst Sensors proposes to develop an innovative, reasonably priced pH and pCO2 measurement system for oceanic surface drifters. Indicatorbased opto-fluidic sensors have been designed and fabricated using microfluidic manufacturing techniques. Success in Phase I led to a prototype sensor that will be evaluated and refined. Alternative optical components will be tested and a final opto-fluidic cell will be designed. A modified circuit board, firmware and client software will be developed to control the system and interact with the drifter’s satellite modem and strain gauge. The system will then be packaged to fit into a Global Drifter Program style drifter. The total system will be pier tested for two weeks to evaluate performance and ultimately deployed in the ocean from a research vessel, with data collected for the sensor lifetime (~1 year) or until it ceases operation.


Grant
Agency: Department of Commerce | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 95.00K | Year: 2012

Quantifying oceanic CO2 uptake and ocean acidification and understanding their impact on global climate and ocean ecology are key goals of NOAA’s climate change research programs. NOAA’s request for Development of a long-term Langrangian pH and pCO2 drifter aims to address these goals by developing technology that measures both pCO2 and pH that can be widely deployed in the world’s oceans. Sunburst Sensors proposes to develop an innovative pH and pCO2 prototype sensor based on the patented technology of its SAMI sensors. We will determine the feasibility of a new compact, cost-effective sensor design that can reliably measure both quantities with the required accuracy and precision. We will investigate two innovations that will significantly simplify and reduce the cost of our current sensors. First, we will combine the optics and flow cell using microfluidics techniques, resulting in a compact, inexpensive, modular sensor. Second, we will use a single reagent for both pCO2 and pH measurements in a single system. Phase I will culminate with a design based on the success of these innovations. This design will be refined and integrated into a surface float with satellite telemetry and become available as a commercial product in Phase II.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 140.70K | Year: 2011

The PI request funding to undertake design improvements and complete the evaluation of an autonomous sensor for measurement of seawater total alkalinity (SAMI-alk). Total alkalinity (AT) is one of the four measureable dissolved inorganic carbon parameters and is therefore of paramount importance in the study of carbon cycling in the oceans. AT is commonly measured as part of shipboard hydrographic surveys and ocean time-series and has more recently become a critical parameter for ocean acidification studies. An autonomous AT sensor can be used in combination with other CO2 parameter sensors that are commercially available, i.e. pH and pCO2, to remotely quantify the inorganic carbon system. For example, if pH and AT are accurately measured, total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), carbonate, and CaCO3 saturation state can be calculated. Long-term mooring based quantification of these parameters is not yet possible. Through a previous NSF grant, we demonstrated that a novel titration methodology named Tracer Monitored Titration (TMT) could simplify AT analysis by eliminating the need for volumetric or gravimetric measurements required for conventional AT titrations. The SAMI-alk was tested both in the lab and during a cruise. The performance on the cruise was not as good as the laboratory tests. This proposal requests funds to complete the SAMI-alk development and evaluation.

Broader Impacts:

The ability to measure alkalinity is a key need for acidification research. If successful, the instrumentation development proposed here will provide an important tool for understanding the vulnerability and response of marine ecosystems to acidification. The PI has actively pursued commercialization of the autonomous instruments that he has developed in the past. Commercialization of the proposed alkalinity sensor through will greatly broaden the impacts of the technology, making it broadly available to the ocean sciences community. The project includes funding for on undergraduate student.


Sunburst Sensors, LLC | Entity website

AFT Bag Replacement Instructions on how to replace reagent bags for the AFT-CO2 or AFT-pH VIDEO


Sunburst Sensors, LLC | Entity website

Autonomous Flow Through Instrument (AFT) The AFT-CO2 and AFT-pH are benchtop instruments based on the same technology as the SAMIs. They measure either pCO2 (carbon dioxide)or pH from a stream of water pumped through the unit ...


Sunburst Sensors, LLC | Entity website

Sunburst Sensors, LLC - 2014


Sunburst Sensors, LLC | Entity website

Details Last Updated: Thursday, July 30 2015 21:05 Sunburst Sensors Wins Both Purses of Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE Missoula, Mont. (July 22, 2015) - Sunburst Sensors, LLC won first place in both purses of the $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE bringing home $1 ...

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