Saturday, August 20, 2016

Why we need wiper blades on our sensors

It's really important for our research to be able to measure water quality in the river on a continual basis over long periods of time. To do this, we have some pretty amazing water quality sensors made by Eureka, that can measure lots of different water quality variables and store the data for weeks or months at a time. We have had these sondes for 6 years, and we have put them into some of the most challenging conditions I can imagine, and they just keep plugging along. Our model has the extra benefit of a wiper blade that cleans the surface of each sensor just before taking a new measurement, which is critical in the Mara for preventing biofilm or dirt from fouling the sensor and compromising the measurement. However, we still have to pull the sonde out of the river every few weeks just to clean off all the bugs, hippo poop and biofilm that accumulates.

Our water quality sonde after 3 weeks in the river