| Project objectives:
To design, construct and test new real-time measurement techniques and methods for water quality. The approach is: to fingerprint natural water characteristics;
to detect the presence of complex species; to measure accurately trace levels of priority pollutants. Pendant drop optical methods integrated with CCD colorimetric
techniques will form the core technologies, having been demonstrated industrially for other applications. Alternative pendant drop techniques and other
optical sensor technologies will be exploited depending on the priority water and environmental needs. The practicality of the engineered solutions will
be proved using laboratory simulations and with the testing of in-field portable and on-line configurations.
The development of instrumentation and methodologies to solve problems with existing water quality monitoring, having the following ideal characteristics:
provision of measurements and fingerprints of a large range of pollutants, exhibiting sensitivity and response times appropriate to specific pollution
problems, of sound scientific basis, of practical and economic design and practical implementation, adaptable for use in the laboratory, field and on-line
Emphasis of early warning of pollution, identification and quantification of priority pollutants of importance in Europe, detection and rapid identification
of accidental discharges in natural waters from instrumental fingerprints.
First the needs will be identified and evaluated, by pooling the knowledge base and specific interface sensors experience of the proposers. A universal
laboratory development instrument (ULDI) will be designed and constructed based on interface water/air sensing techniques. This equipment will be configured
to test all possible modalities and combinations for the application of tensiography and related techniques to water monitoring.
Four dedicated methodologies/techniques of increasing degrees of complexity will be tested for prioritised applications. Laboratory simulations using
the ULDI will enable portable , low cost, simplified equipment will be constructed for use as demonstrators in field batch experiments performed in real conditions.
Thus problems will be solved and identified in order to optimise the design of continuous/on-line demonstrators.
These optimised and redesigned demonstrators will be tested and validated in field conditions. Several ' horizontal ' on-going tasks (software development,
sampling problems studies, experimental calibration) will take place at every stage of the programme.
The outcomes of the research programme will enable definition of strategic use of the new technology, identification of the most promising applications
and commercial opportunities.