There were presentations from several similar projects funded under the FP7 ‘Oceans of Tomorrow’ programme, these were:
SENSEOCEAN - Development of biogeochemical sensors for autonomous platforms and observatories
BRAAVOO - Biosensors for Near Real-Time Marine Toxicant Monitoring
SMS - Innovations in emerging pollutants ocean monitoring using biosensing technology
SCHeMA - Integrated In situ CHemical MApping probes: objectives and main achievements
NeXOS - Development and end-to-end integration of compact, low-power, multifunctional ocean sensors.
ENVIGUARD - Advances in biosensor technology for monitoring harmful algae, algae toxins & PCB
MariaBox - first prototype of a novel instrument to observe natural and chemical pollutants in seawater
COMMON SENSE - Cost-effective sensors, interoperable with international existing ocean observing systems
Several of these projects overlap to some degree with ENVIGUARD, to a greater of lesser degree – in particular SMS. Most of the projects are developing sensors for chemical contaminants including algal toxins and inorganics, algal detection and environmental parameters. It seems that ENVIGUARD is the only project investigating a sensor to detect microbial and viral pathogens in the water column (though this part of the project was not discussed in the presentation by Dennis Gowland).
A common theme from the researchers involved was to achieve real time sampling in-situ – often from buoys. Challenges remain to ensure that prototypes are made robustly to survive in offshore marine conditions.
Degrees of readiness (Technological Readiness Level – RTL) ranged from TRL4 (lab validation) to (in rare cases) TRL9 (System test, launch & operations). Mostly the projects reported TRL 4-8.
During Question & Answer sessions and at a Panel session at the end of the workshop it was emphasised that the new technologies and the new methods of deployment developed in the projects would need an extended period of demonstration would be required to satisfy the requirements of the market and that standards (where not already existing) would need to be addressed.
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