Fiber Optic Dissolved Oxygen Sensing System for Remote Monitoring

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Airak Engineering, Inc.
Rte 3, Box 533, 415 Chesnut Avenue, New Castle, VA, 24127
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Mr. Paul Grems Duncan
(540) 864-7821
Business Contact:
Mr. Paul Grems Duncan
(540) 864-7821
Research Institution:
50397-98-I Fiber Optic Dissolved Oxygen Sensing System for Remote Monitoring--Airak Engineering, Rte 3, Box 533, 415 Chesnut Avenue, New Castle, VA 24127-9519; (540) 864-7821 Mr. Paul Grems Duncan, Principal Investigator Mr. Paul Grems Duncan, Business Official DOE Grant No. DE-FG02-98ER82521 Amount: $75,000 One of the largest problems facing field biologists and aquaculturists is the inability to prevent ¿fish kills¿. Potential causes for these kills include groundwater contamination from domestic wastes, industrial effluents, or large rain events, all of which decrease dissolved oxygen (DO), the primary gas necessary for life in aquatic organisms. Given continuous monitoring, biologists could be alerted to low DO concentrations and potentially prevent a kill. However, continuous monitoring by personnel is not practical because of staffing and equipment constraints. Instruments currently available to measure DO fail in that they utilize a membrane that rapidly fouls and must be replaced to maintain accurate readings. This project will develop an autonomous, fiber optic environmental monitoring system that will improve the efficiency and method of data transport to monitor groundwater and aquaculture systems. The system will use sensing technology that is under development at the Fiber & Electro Optics Research Center (FEORC) at Virginia Tech. The main goal of Phase I will be to develop a non-fouling DO sensor in a closed aquaculture system. A secondary goal will be to demonstrate an autonomous bench-top support system that can alert personnel to abnormal water quality conditions. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: This technology could be used to continuously monitor: 1) aquaculture production, 2) water quality for endangered species, 3) water quality above and below factory effluent points, 4) water quality in remote areas that are inaccessible for daily/weekly/monthly sampling, and 5) compliance with EPA guidelines. Additionally, fully developed applications of this research could be used to control/regulate discharge: 1) at wastewater treatment facilities, 2) at factories and processing plants, 3) on farms, and 4) at power plants cooling water discharge points._

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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