Methods and Best Practice to Intercompare Dissolved Oxygen Sensors and Fluorometers/Turbidimeters for Oceanographic Applications

Sensors (Basel). 2016 May 17;16(5):702. doi: 10.3390/s16050702.


In European seas, ocean monitoring strategies in terms of key parameters, space and time scale vary widely for a range of technical and economic reasons. Nonetheless, the growing interest in the ocean interior promotes the investigation of processes such as oxygen consumption, primary productivity and ocean acidity requiring that close attention is paid to the instruments in terms of measurement setup, configuration, calibration, maintenance procedures and quality assessment. To this aim, two separate hardware and software tools were developed in order to test and simultaneously intercompare several oxygen probes and fluorometers/turbidimeters, respectively in the same environmental conditions, with a configuration as close as possible to real in-situ deployment. The chamber designed to perform chlorophyll-a and turbidity tests allowed for the simultaneous acquisition of analogue and digital signals of several sensors at the same time, so it was sufficiently compact to be used in both laboratory and onboard vessels. Methodologies and best practice committed to the intercomparison of dissolved oxygen sensors and fluorometers/turbidimeters have been used, which aid in the promotion of interoperability to access key infrastructures, such as ocean observatories and calibration facilities. Results from laboratory tests as well as field tests in the Mediterranean Sea are presented.

Keywords: dissolved oxygen; fluorescence; intercomparison; marine technology; ocean observing system; operational oceanography; turbidity.