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Remote-controlled modular measuring system for sampling/in- situ toxic contaminants analysis in estuaries/coastal waters

Remote-controlled, automatic measuring & sampling system for
the determination of contaminants/assessment of substances
influencing the o2 balance: heavy metals/organic
micropollutants/nutrients, chlorophyll, etc.

1. Objectives: The overall objective of the project is the development of a remote-controlled, automatic measuring and sampling system for the determination of organic and inorganic micro pollutants (heavy metals and synthetic organic compounds). This system should also allow assessments of substances influencing the oxygen balance, i.e. nutrient chlorophyll and degradable organic matter. 2. Concept: Since increasing environmental contamination caused by wastes from industry and agriculture increasingly threatens the quality of European coastal waters, better monitoring concepts for the assessment of relevant contaminants must be developed. The present monitoring strategies of contaminants mainly rely on sampling during ship cruises. The data obtained are often insufficient in terms of time and space for input into existing numerical models. The inclusion of automatically operating measuring platforms from which long-term time-series data can be obtained would be one important improvement of this concept. The automatic sampling of trace substances like heavy metals and organic micropollutants is an additional aspect. In order to reduce the amount of analyses, sampling can be influenced either by bi-directional telemetry or by events, e.g. slack water, planctonic blooms, wind stress, high freshwater discharge rates. 3. Nature of work: Phase 1: - Development of a measurement and sampling system as functional model on a buoy as carrier - Development of automatic nutrient analysers - Development of an automatic sampler for heavy metals, - investigations in sampling procedures for organic micro pollutants Phase 2: - Development of a small measuring network with prototype function for the analyses of toxic contaminants in coastal waters of the German Bight, consisting of three stations (the buoy from phase I an unmanned lightship (UFS Elbe) positioned in the coastal region and a platform together with a standardised container including power supply and the measuring equipment positioned in the mainly Elbe influenced coastal zone). - Development of procedures and rules for the operation and maintenance of the stations - Development of a sampler for organic micro pollutants (prototype). - Development of additional analysers for the biological/chemical characterization of coastal waters (oxygen, total phosphate, algae, particle size of suspended matter). Phase 3: - Operation of the prototype network together with water authorities and conversion of the system into an operational monitoring system, operated by water authorities. - Technology transfer of the prototype system.
Acronym: 
MERMAID
Project ID: 
417
Start date: 
01-06-1988
Project Duration: 
127months
Project costs: 
10 000 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.