Autonomous field-deployable device for the measurement of phosphate in natural water

Conor Slater, John Cleary, Christina M. McGraw, William S. Yerazunis, King Tong Lau, Dermot Diamond*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceedingpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


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 handling, 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 to 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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies V
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventAdvanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies V - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: 10 Sept 200711 Sept 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceAdvanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies V
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA


  • Environment
  • LED
  • Microfluidics
  • Network
  • Phosphate
  • Photodiode
  • Sensor
  • Wireless

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