MultiFluoro: Testing new multi-parameter fluorometer in optically complex environments

User group PI: James Kirkbride, Chelsea Technologies Group Ltd, UK

Hosting infrastructure: SYKE Ferrybox at m/s Finnmaid & Marine Research Centre Laboratory, Finland 

Main Objectives

Conventionally, single waveband Chlorophyll a fluorometers are used in operational oceanography to record the variability in phytoplankton biomass. Additional single waveband fluorometers, with different optical setups, have been used to detect phycobilin fluorescence, as indicators of the presence of cyanobacteria. There are also some multiwavelength instruments available in the market, but with considerably higher price and larger size than those of single waveband, limiting their use in specific applications.

Chelsea Technologies Group has developed its new V-Lux miniature multi-parameter fluorometer configured to provide high quality in situ detection of either Algae, Aromatic Hydrocarbons or Tryptophan-like fluorescence. The V-Lux multiparameter fluorometer from is small in size (length of 15.8 cm, diameter of 5 cm, weighing 900 g in air) and has low power requirements, thus is well suited for various measuring platforms.

Fluorescence is automatically corrected for turbidity, absorbance and temperature to provide robust data collection over extended deployments. The instrument has several monitoring applications. Project MULTIFLUORO will test the usability of V-LUX (Algae) fluorometer, having 4 excitation bands and one emission band, in optically complex coastal waters.

The main objectives of project MULTIFLUORO are

  • test the effect of background humic signal on detected algal fluorescence
  • test the sensitivity and specificity of different fluorescence bands to different algal classes
  • compare the specificity of fluorescence bands targeting phycobilin pigments against other field fluorometers and bench-top spectrofluorometer
  • obtain first evidence of operationality of the V-Lux instrument in the flow-through system
  • follow development of Baltic Sea spring bloom, by combining V-lux with an operational ferrybox system, and demonstrate the added value of having several wavebands
  • demonstrate the added value of having optical characterisation of spectral fluorometer