The device has already been successfully used at all three MARNET stations since June 2019. “It has passed the intensive testing with distinction. All target areas could be kept completely and permanently free of fouling by irradiation from a distance of up to 1m. The UV exposed sensors, in particular the interference-prone chlorophyll fluorometer, now consistently deliver very good data and the casing successfully defies the harsh field conditions in the middle of the Baltic Sea,” says Mars.
These tests verified the effectiveness of the UV light source system in areas of high biofouling contamination, allowing the sensor areas to be kept free of elements that generated a deterioration of the data “by keeping the areas free of biological contamination, such as algae and mollusc larvae, among others”, says Scheel.
“It should be noted that the oceanographic instruments begin to present [evidence of] fouling shortly after contact with the water (15-90 minutes). It starts as bacteria colonies on the surfaces, causing the data to dgegrade, which is corrected by mathematical models, to reduce the biases of the data associated with fouling,” he adds.
Scheel points out that this device needs to be installed simultaneously with the measuring instrument, to obtain data without degredation from the beginning. It should be noted that the antifouling UV spotlight requires a specific area to be targeted, since the light does not have even an indirect effect on the surrounding areas,. The installation of this device would be recommended in new deployments of measuring instruments, or in recently cleaned ducts, to result in a surface that is as free as possible of unwanted organic elements.