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Developing ChemFin (trademark), a Miniature Biogeochemical Sensor Payload for Gliders, Profilers, and Other AUVs

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The first goal of this project involves the further development and transition of ChemFINTM, a prototype autonomous profiling sensor for chemicals and biomolecules, into a commercial product that can be readily deployed on fixed or mobile ocean observation platforms such as coastal gliders, profiling moorings, and propeller driven unmanned underwater vehicles UUVs. The second goal of this project is to integrate a flow immunosensor technology i.e. biosensor, developed by researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory, into ChemFIN for the detection of biomolecules of interest, such as specific biotoxins i.e saxitoxin that are released during harmful algal blooms HABs. ChemFIN is being developed for sustained, autonomous ocean observations of specific chemical and biochemical distributions and spatial and temporal variability. ChemFIN is an evolving compact sensor payload, utilizing microfluidics, and is particularly designed for low-power underway measurements on gliders, propeller-driven autonomous underwater vehicles AUVs and autonomous profilers. The first objective is to use recent advances in micro-fluidics and optical detectors to improve the ChemFIN sensor. The technical improvements involve reducing sample flow rates and volumes and thus reagent and power consumption, extending the length of field deployments by developing new technologies to suppress bio-fouling, increasing the ease of use by simplifying operation, prepackaging reagents and thoroughly documenting the performance by conducting demonstration experiments in coastal waters. The second objective is to adapt and integrate the flow immunosensor analytical technology, developed by NRL researchers, into the MarChem and ultimately the ChemFIN sensor payloads.,

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  • Optical Detection and Detectors

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