Many algae sensors can detect Chlorophyll a or levels of blue-green algae. YSI’s new Total Algae Sensor can measure both at the same time.
“If you’re only looking at Chlorophyll a, you can miss a very big portion of total algae biomass,” said Tim Finegan, product manager.
The new sensor is an optional attachment to the company’s line of EXO sondes, which debuted earlier this year. It’s an optical probe and maintenance is limited to keeping the sapphire windows on the unit clean.
The Total Algae Sensor can be calibrated in two different ways, one for spot sampling and one for continuous sampling, which allows users to make sure readings are accurate for their specific monitoring applications.
“What’s nice about EXO, you can calibrate four of these probes at the same time,” said Finegan. “With all of them on the same EXO.”
With the blue-green algae and Chlorophyll a channels combined, the new probe can detect algae at lower concentrations than other models in less time. The Total Algae Sensor is constructed of titanium, which makes it highly resistant to corrosion.
By combining Chlorophyll a and blue-green algae measurements into one probe, sensor ports are freed up on the EXO sonde. That means the EXO2 model would still have room for five more probes.
The Total Algae Sensor is significantly less sensitive to interferences in readings from turbidity, degraded pigments or fluorescent dissolved organic matter. The optical probe has a two-year warranty and can be deployed down to 250 meters.
“You can easily expect perhaps five to seven years of operation without issue,” said Finegan. “Keeping it clean is the extent of maintenance.”