Successful multi sensor suite deployment on PROVOR float

Trials of a multi sensor suite developed by the SenseOCEAN project on a free-floating device were carried out off the coast of Villefranche sur Mer at the beginning of May. The multi sensor suite consisting of optode sensors (for pH and O2), an electrochemical sensor (Si) and a lab-on-chip sensor (NO3) was mounted on a PROVOR float and deployed in the Mediterranean Sea for a week.

PROVOR float with multi sensor suite mounted, on board ship ready for deployment (image courtesy Arnaud David)

Prior to the deployment, the weight and dimensions of each individual sensor had to be assessed to determine the optimum position for mounting on the PROVOR float. Any addition to the PROVOR float has an effect on the buoyancy and stability of the float, hence correct positioning of the sensors is crucial. However, the design also needed to allow for easy access to the sensors for maintenance, adjustment etc.  Preliminary trials of the float with the sensor suite took place in an old quarry lake to allow fine tuning of the buoyancy prior to the full deployment in the Mediterranean Sea.

Despite bad weather, seven profiles with data from all sensors were collected, demonstrating successful communication through a universal interface. Data analysis is in progress.