YSI improves sonde technology with EXO

By on January 21, 2013

A new line of multiparameter sondes is making a splash in the water monitoring market. The recently introduced YSI EXO line offers simpler calibration, more rugged materials and a future-proof design.

The new water quality sondes can measure temperature, conductivity, depth, dissolved oxygen, pH, ORP, total algae (chlorophyll and blue-green algae), turbidity and fluorescent dissolved organic matter.

The EXO sondes carry Smart QC, which is a series of quality control checks that run automatically to help maintain calibration. Feedback from testing has confirmed that the checks cut down on wasted trips into the field due to setup or configuration errors.

Another new addition is graphical KOR software installed on EXO handhelds and the user’s computer that helps users calibrate the sondes and deploy instruments for field use.

“The software makes EXO really easy to use and calibrate. It also helps reduce errors because it will validate the configuration and calibration before deploying a sonde,” said Tim Finegan, director of environmental monitoring products. “There have been a couple times I had incorrectly calibrated a sensor and the KOR software flagged the mistake before I put the instrument to use.”

Titanium sensors replace the composite ones used on past YSI sonde models. All of EXO’s sensors are completely sealed, and the biofouling wiper now has its own port instead of integrating with sensors, removing a potential leak area. The new metal is stronger, which allowed YSI to reduce the size of all its new sensors.

“Titanium sensors stand up to higher pressures underwater, so the EXO sondes can go down to 820 feet deep,” said Danielle Dumont, marketing communications manager. “They also do well in higher temperatures, up to 50 degrees Celsius.”

EXO stream sampling

YSI chose a metal bulkhead for the EXO because customers were concerned about the possibility of thread damage within polymer bulkheads used on YSI’s 6-Series sondes after years of use. The new metal sensors and retaining nuts on sensors can be easily replaced by the user after long-term use.

The EXO sondes are reliable over the long term, with YSI planning to expand on the product with new sensors and software features in the future.

“EXO is a platform we will continue to develop with new sensor technology,” said Finegan. “Ammonium, nitrate and chloride sensors will all be releasing in a couple months, and we have big plans to use the expansion port on the EXO2 to support new applications.”

Other features that set the EXO apart include Bluetooth technology for easier, cable-free use in the lab, and sensors with increased accuracy and faster response times.

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