Commemorating Earth Day 2016
You don’t have to be an environmentalist to appreciate the role of science in helping to understand, shape, monitor and predict the behavior of our planet. And so, in acknowledgement of Earth Day 2016, we celebrate how spectroscopy is used for various applications focused on the Earth and its inhabitants.
Spectral instrumentation has been used to address environmental applications such as open-path air quality monitoring in cities, sulfur dioxide analysis in volcanoes, and coral reef fluorescence as an indicator of ocean health. Also, spectroscopy has helped in the development of sustainable energy technologies such as photovoltaics and biofuels, where parameters can be monitored under conditions that match anticipated usage conditions.
Ocean Optics Spectrometers and “Earth” Applications
The name “Ocean Optics” was inspired, in part, by the U.S. Department of Energy Small Business Innovation Research grant that gave the company its start. The research funded by that grant involved making spectroscopic measurements of pH in the ocean.
Since then, Ocean Optics spectrometers have been part of numerous applications related to the environment. Here is a sampling:
Air and Water Quality
|Monitoring air quality||Maya2000 Pro||Transmission||Real-time determination of harmful vehicle emissions in major cities|
|Monitoring aquaponics systems||Flame-S-UV-VIS||Transmission||Maintaining balance of nutrients and pH in aquaponics systems|
|Monitoring atmospheric sulfur||Maya2000 Pro||Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy||Understanding and forecasting of volcanic activity and emissions|
Earth Sciences for Research and Education
|Aerial study of volcanic emissions||Flame||Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy||Analysis of volatile chemical elements in volcanic plumes|
|Authenticating protected coral species||Customized OEM Spectrometer||Raman||Identifying endangered coral species used illegally in commercial trade|
|Soil analysis||NIRQuest||NIR Reflectance||Better management of soil for agriculture applications|
|Characterization of biofuels||Maya2000 Pro-NIR||Raman||Determination of critical fuel parameters in biofuels|
|Plastic sorting for recycling||Flame-NIR, Ventana||Reflectance, Raman||Improving the efficiency of recycling processes|
|Testing of organic solar cell materials||USB4000-UV-VIS||Reflectance||Development of sustainable technologies|
Plant and Animal Life
|Mercury detection||QE Pro||Fluorescence||Screening for mercury contamination in soil, water and fish|
|Nutrition in grazing animals||NIRQuest512||Reflectance||More effective management of grazing herds|
|Remote sensing of grassland||STS microspectrometer mounted on unmanned aerial vehicle||Reflectance||Crop management|