Addressing the need for routine, robust and accurate water quality
measurements, particularly in sensitive and diverse ecological areas
such as estuaries and inland waters, Sea-Bird Scientific offers a complete, turnkey
monitoring system, the LOBO. Developed by Dr. Ken
Johnson's team MBARI, the LOBO was designed to create a real time sensor
network for aquatic systems. LOBO uses a system of high quality, high
temporal resolution in situ sensors to monitor fluxes. Water properties
such as salinity, temperature, and current velocity are combined with
nutrient measurements to monitor important processes that affect
biogeochemistry. Parameters measured by the LOBO include:
- Physical measurements include temperature, depth, salinity
(optional), current profiler (optional) and turbidity.
- Chemical sensors include chromophoric dissolved organic matter
(CDOM), nitrate, and dissolved oxygen.
- Biological measurements include chlorophyll fluorescence with
options for additional ancillary pigments.
The LOBO comes complete with floating platform, power and wireless
telemetry system, integrated sensor suite, automated processing software
and web based data visualization and display software (LOBOviz).
Just deploy the platforms, install the software, configure the system
using a simple GUI, and your data is live on the web. The system is
designed for both rapid deployments and long term monitoring, making it
easy for users to install and operate.
LOBO has been extensively tested in a wide range of extreme water
quality conditions for the past three years with a network of five
systems in the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Online real-time and archived data is available at www.mbari.org/lobo/loboviz.htm.
The system addresses specific resource management concerns of the NERRS,
such as degraded coastal water quality, loss and alteration of estuarine
and watershed habitat, habitat restoration, reduction of biodiversity,
and problematic effects of pollutions and invasive species. The initial
LOBO deployment has demonstrated how a real time aquatic sensor network
can significantly increase our ability to address these issues and
contribute to the generation of information that leads to sound resource
management. The ability to study the interactions of the hydrologic
cycle, nutrient chemical cycles and human alterations of these cycles at
the land/ocean interface is a fundamental component of coastal zone
management, and one that has traditionally been a major scientific
Robust, Easy to Use Platforms
The LOBO features a floating platform in two configurations, one for
waters as shallow as 1 meter (RiverLOBO), and one for
deeper waters (BayLOBO). Both are
designed for deployment with a minimum of effort in small boats. Users
can easily move platforms around study sites to monitor critical
locations. Each uses a modular instrument bay with quick release sensor
modules for easy maintenance. A minimum of exposed infrastructure and a
robust flotation system make the systems resistant to vandalism, and an
optional GPS tracking system is available.
LOBO platforms are also available for attaching to fixed structures
such as docks or pilings (DockLOBO), or for
placing directly on the bottom (BenthicLOBO).
Data Visualization with LOBOviz
A significant component of the LOBO system is LOBOviz, a
data visualization and display package for an entire network of
monitoring sites. This powerful tool allows users to access and view
real time or archived data, comparing multiple sensors at a site or
multiple sites simultaneously though a simple web interface. This gives
system users rapid and easy access to the monitoring network to help
make informed decisions. A new live demonstration system has been
deployed in Halifax Harbour, Canada.
High Quality Sensors
The system uses robust, high accuracy, high stability sensors with
integrated anti biofouling systems to maximize deployment time, minimize
operational costs and provide high quality data sets. The sensor suite
includes the WET Labs WQM instrument with ECO series fluorometer and
turbidity sensors with integrated bio-wiperTM, integrated CT (and
optional depth) and dissolved oxygen sensors with a comprehensive
antifouling system (including copper cladding, a bleach injection system
and a optional TBT module) all designed to greatly extend deployment
times in coastal environments. The system also includes the Satlantic
ISUS chemical free nitrate sensor which is pumped from the WQM to
maximize antifouling capabilities. Water velocity profiles using the
Nortek Aquadopp are optional.