Optimization and Demonstration of In Situ Chemical Sensors for Marine Waters

The importance of autonomous in situ chemical sensors for ocean observations has increased drastically over the last decades. Yet, the huge potentials of sensor-based data collection remain underutilized by the scientific and regulatory communities, despite wider than ever usage of sensors. This thesis is part of a growing body of work to extend the usability of sensors and is embedded in the Ocean Best Practice approach, which could improve data quality in ocean observation in general.

The here presented Ph.D. thesis covers multiple commercial sensors (LOC from ClearWater Sensors, Southampton, UK and OPUS from TriOS GmbH, Germany) for autonomous, high-resolution and in situ measurements of essential biogeochemical parameters (pH and nitrate) in marine waters. It was motivated by the necessity of improving the data quality of autonomous submersible optical sensors and broadening their utility. To achieve this, sensor deployments in various aquatic environments were conducted. Furthermore, the data obtained via sensors based on the same analytical principle was compared with each other, and with benchtop laboratory devices to assess the accuracy of the measurements.

The achievements are associated with the acquisition of accurate and temporally well-resolved real-time data. A more reliable sensor-based data collection and improved deployability promotes a broader usage of autonomous sensors in general. Thus, a financially more sustainable ocean monitoring approach can be achieved, since a broader adaptation of autonomous sensors in research yields a higher cost efficiency.


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