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Note from the Director: Tap Into the Power of Real-time Monitoring
In the Spotlight: Turner Designs and Hydrolab announce addition of CYCLOPS-7 to the Hydrolab DataSonde multi-parameter platform
Jim's Corner: Adaptation of CYCLOPS-7 Voltage Output
Instruments In Action: CYCLOPS-7 Real-Time Data Aids Study of Basin Scale Dynamics of Open Ocean Ecosystems
Technically Speaking: Optimizing the Accuracy of the CYCLOPS-7 Fluorometer
Instruments In Action: Pelorus uses CYCLOPS-7 Fluorometer to Characterize Effectiveness of Remedial Fluid Through BioNets™
Instruments In Action:
Waterproof Magnetic Reed Switch Solution Controls CYCLOPS-7 Gain
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Tap into the Power of Real-time Monitoring

Real-time monitoring of water quality can take many forms, from inexpensive handheld instruments requiring discrete samples to automated, on-line monitoring and control systems to elaborate offshore ocean buoys with profiling instrument packages. The one thing they all have in common is that they have in situ sensors taking water quality measurements in real or near real-time. As a whole, the selection of in situ sensors is on the rise and the power consumption, size and price are falling. Literally anywhere you can think of where there is natural water is a potential candidate for a real-time water monitoring system (ex: buoys, cruise ships and ferries, docks, piers, water plants, etc.). The time has arrived where a real-time monitoring system is a practical solution for most researchers and monitoring groups. The benefits should be clear; increasing sample intervals by orders of magnitude that will add enormously to improving our understanding and monitoring of natural systems.

Several of the factors adding to the growth in real-time monitoring of water quality:

  • Smaller and more energy efficient sensors
  • Anti-biofouling systems (wipers and brushes, copper screens and shutters, coatings, etc.)
  • Longer lasting batteries and high capacity data loggers
  • Improved communication and telemetry
  • Increasing number of companies offering integrated, turn-key systems
  • Decreasing price
  • Increasing number of sensors and sensor companies
  • More user friendly sensors and software
  • Increasing environmental problems and awareness

At Turner Designs, we have embraced advances in smaller and more energy-efficient instrument components to offer the smallest, most reliable, and affordable fluorescence sensors available. Most recently we have launched the CYCLOPS- 7 submersible fluorometer that will allow many more people to take advantage of fluorescence technology by making it easier to integrate into remote monitoring platforms, due to the small size and energy efficiency, and offering it at a more affordable price. In addition, we are expanding the number of applications we offer by launching cyanobacteria models for all of our on-line and field instruments (see Instruments in Action) which includes a cyanobacteria version of the AlgaeWatch on-line fluorometer. The detection of in vivo cyanobacteria with any of our instruments is sensitive enough to act as an early warning system of potential cyanobacteria blooms. This is of particular interest within the water resource market where cyanobacteria blooms increase filter run times, produce taste & odor causing compounds and potentially toxic compounds. Fluorescence based early warning systems can warn of increasing cyanobacteria biomass that can then trigger more specific tests (e.g. ELISA, HPLC, etc.) that can confirm the presence of specific species or compounds.

We encourage you to contact us to discuss instrument applications and how we can help you with your real-time monitoring needs.

Some useful references and links focused on real-time monitoring:

  • Glasgow, H.B., Burkholder J.M., Reed R.E., Lewitus A.J., Kleinman J.E., 2004. Real-time remote monitoring of water quality: a review of current applications, and advancements in sensor, telemetry, and computing technologies. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 300 (2004) 409-448.
    For re-prints, contact Howard Glasgow at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

  • Chesapeake Bay Monitoring

  • Monitoring and Event Response for Harmful Algal Blooms

  • Monitoring on Ferries

  • Real Time Monitoring from the Mystic River, CT (USGS)

  • Real-Time Turbidity, Temperature and Salinity Data from Queensland, Australia

Yours truly,
Rob Ellison
Director of Sales and Marketing

Partner News: Turner Designs and Hydrolab announce addition of CYCLOPS-7 to the Hydrolab DataSonde multi-parameter platform

Turner Designs has designed a Chlorophyll a sensor specifically for integration into the Hydrolab DataSonde. This sensor is based on the CYCLOPS-7 technology, and offers the most accurate Chlorophyll a measurement available on a multi-parameter instrument.

Real-time, in vivo monitoring of Chlorophyll a using a Hydrolab DataSonde is extremely valuable for helping a researcher understand the productivity of a lake. The advantage offered when using a multi-parameter DataSonde with the Chlorophyll sensor is that the researcher can also monitor parameters such as Dissolved Oxygen and pH at the same time as their Chlorophyll measurements. These additional parameters are important to fully understand the productivity of the lake because the amount of oxygen that is being produced or absorbed, as well as the changes in pH that coincide with algal productivity, are critically important to completing the full picture of the lake's health.

Kellie Merrell, an aquatic ecologist at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, has been measuring water quality with Hydrolab instruments for 12 years. The agency routinely monitors water quality at over 200 lakes in the state of Vermont, and they are especially interested in monitoring Chlorophyll.

Figure 1: Hydrolabs DataSonde showing integration of Turner Designs CYCLOPS-7 sensor.

Kellie has recently started to use the Hydrolab sondes paired with Turner Designs' Chlorophyll a sensor to help the agency understand the trophic status of the lakes and detect bloom conditions real-time. The ability to make in vivo measurements of Chlorophyll can give the agency immediate data to tell them if the lake is experiencing hypereutrophic or oligotrophic conditions. Kellie then uses the data from the other sensors, including Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Conductivity, Redox, and Temperature, to understand the complete picture of the lakes' health.

The agency greatly benefits from the ability to collect data for several parameters at once with only one instrument... the time and equipment savings add up very quickly! Most importantly, the data that the agency collects with the Hydrolab sonde and Turner Chlorophyll sensor correlates extremely well with their extracted Chlorophyll analyses, so they can be sure they are collecting accurate data.




Figure 2: The Turner Designs CYCLOPS-7 fluorometer is available on Hydrolab's DataSonde 4a and MiniSonde 4a Instruments.

Hydrolab, a Hach Company brand, has designed and manufactured multi-parameter water quality monitoring instruments for over 40 years. Their product lines include the DataSonde, MiniSonde, and Quanta. Sensors are available on these instruments to measure Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, Conductivity, pH, ORP, Depth, and Turbidity, among others. Turner Designs has developed a line of fluorometers that are integrated into Hydrolab instruments, including Chlorophyll a, Rhodamine WT, and Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria). For questions regarding these instruments, contact Hydrolab at (800) 949-3766 or (970) 669-3050, or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Jim McCormick, our Tech Support Manager, has been with Turner Designs for over 15 years and has extensive expertise with our entire line of instruments.
"Jim's Corner" will feature common questions that provide a better understanding of the operation of our units. Please feel free to send your technical question to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

We want to connect the CYCLOPS-7 to a Data Logger that can only accept a maximum signal input of 2 volts. Can we adapt the 5 volt signal output of the CYCLOPS-7 to this level without losing any dynamic range?

Yes, by creating a simple voltage divider circuit, the 5 volt signal output from the CYCLOPS-7 can be scaled down to meet the lower voltage requirement of your Data Logger. This circuit consists of two Resistors connected in series, that should be installed at the Data Logger input connections. The Data Logger should have an input impedance greater than 1 Meg-ohm for the resistor values stated here. The resistors should be rated at ¼ watt or higher.

If R1 is 150K ohms and R2 is 100K ohms, when the voltage from the CYCLOPS-7 is 5 volts, the voltage across R2 will be 2 volts. Refer to the Equation and Figure below.

5volts X (R2 / (R1 + R2)) = 2 volts

Figure 1: Graphical representation of a simple voltage divider circuit.


CYCLOPS-7 Real-Time Data Aids Study of Basin Scale Dynamics of Open Ocean Ecosystems

fluorometerThe Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) programme (1995 - present) takes advantage of the biannual passage of the BAS research vessel James Clark Ross from the UK (50°N) to the Falkland Islands (50°S) to study basin scale patterns and dynamics of open-ocean planktonic ecosystems (more information can be found at An interest in open-ocean plankton has led to our understanding of the importance of various groups of cyanobacteria along the AMT transect: the dominance of small (< 0.002 mm) prochlorophytes in the subtropical gyres, the importance of small Synechococcus in equatorial and temperate waters and the vital nitrogen-fixing role of large (> 2 mm) colony-forming Trichodesmium in equatorial waters. Small cyanobacteria are usually detected through the collection of discrete water samples and flow cytometric analysis, where cell size and phycoerythrin fluorescence are used to identify the different groups. Trichodesmium is collected with nets (or buckets!) and microscopic examination of large water-volumes gives their abundance. A technique that detects both is highly advantageous, allowing targeted sampling and a better understanding of the ecology of marine cyanophytes.

During the 14th AMT cruise (April - June, 2004) we took advantage of the opportunity to use one of the new CYCLOPS-7 fluorometers set to detect phycoerythrin (a pigment mostly found in cyanobacteria). Due to their insolubility in water, the cyanophyte pigments phycoerythrin and phycocyanin cannot be extracted or eluded with standard pigment analysis and thus our knowledge of the full pigment suite of open-ocean communities has been limited. The use of the CYCLOPS-7 will provide us with a better understanding of the pigments, community structure and optical properties of the water-column.

fluorometerHaving sailed through the rough waters off the Falkland Islands ("roaring 40s") and into the South Atlantic Gyre we were able to attach the CYCLOPS-7 fluorometer to our standard CTD package and gain real-time profiles of phycoerythrin and cyanophyte distribution. The appeal of using new technology on the AMT cruises is that the interdisciplinary nature of the cruise allows novel measurements to be related to other more traditional oceanographic measurements (e.g. chlorophyll a concentration, rates of carbon fixation, nutrient concentrations) as well as more specialised ones (e.g. Dimethylsulphide concentration).

Although the results are preliminary and still being validated (frozen and preserved samples to be analysed) several interesting results have come about from the use of the Cyclops-7. Phycoerythrin was highest in waters with high chlorophyll-a concentration, shallow nitraclines (defined as the 1 mM nitrate contour), and high rates of carbon fixation. Preliminary cell counts show that the source of the phycoerythrin changes with latitude: from Synechococcus and Trichodesmium in equatorial waters to Synechococcus and eukaryotic flagellates (Cryptomonads) in northern temperate waters.

fluorometerOver the next few months, pigment analysis will allow us to compare phycoerythrin fluorescence to other phytoplankton pigments: previous knowledge of the distribution of such pigments indicates that phycoerythrin fluorescence shows a very similar distribution to the photoprotectant cyanophyte-related pigment, zeaxanthin. Analysis of preserved water samples may allow the phycoerythrin signal to be related to Trichodesmium abundance, as it was noticed during the cruise that when Trichodesmium was present in the water-column the Cyclops-7 signal was highly spiky. Analysis of particle absorption samples and attempts to calibrate the fluorometer will allow us to estimate the concentration of phycoerythrin and its ratio to other phytoplankton pigments.

Many thanks to Turner Designs and RS Aqua (especially Charlotte Deeley) for the opportunity to use the CYCLOPS-7, which will become a regular feature on our CTD package during future cruises (AMT-15 sails September 2004!). I would also like to thank fellow AMT scientists for access to their preliminary data from the cruise which has aided in the interpretation of the CYCLOPS-7 signal so far (Dr Mike Zubkov, Ms Jane Heywood and Ms Katie Chamberlain) and Jon Short and Dougal Mountifield (UKORS) for technical support.

fluorometerDr Alex Poulton ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Research Fellow: Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) programme
Southampton Oceanography Centre, UK.




(Ocean Data View used courtesy of R Schitzler)


fluorometerTechnically Speaking, It All Adds Up…….

is a series of articles for people who want to obtain the best possible results from their fluorometer. This month's article will describe some good measurement practices to produce consistent and reliable readings when using submersible fluorometers in the lab. The effects of sensor positioning, optimum bench top characteristics, etc will be described. The principles apply to all submersible fluorometers when used for making lab measurements.

Does this scenario sound familiar? You are using your submersible fluorometer in the lab for doing some dye concentration measurements: you check the sensor using your solid secondary standard - no change in the reading. So, you know the sensor is still calibrated, and producing consistent and reliable results using the solid secondary standard. However when you measure the very same dye as last time, you get a significantly different reading!! What is going on?? (It's not the dye changing).

All fluorometers work by measuring the light emitted by naturally fluorescent compounds such as chlorophyll, or from man-made fluorescent materials such as tracer dyes. The emitted light results from exciting the measurement sample with light at an optimum wavelength to cause the sample to fluoresce.

Now it will be obvious that it is important to control the measurement setup to minimize the effects of reflected light, and to ensure that no additional fluorescent light sources are introduced.

Practical Implementation:
The following factors all impact the accuracy, consistency and reliability of measurements made with submersible fluorometers used in the lab:

1. Use a Glass Beaker for your water samples. (Avoid plastic beakers - plastic fluoresces, and will interfere with the sample fluorescence)

2. Place the glass beaker on a Non-Reflective Surface, preferably black. (A black cloth under the beaker will achieve the desired result).

3. Ensure that the sensor is at least 3 inches above the bottom of the glass beaker, see Figure 1.

4. Ensure that the sensor is in the center of the glass beaker, and has more than 1 inch clearance between the cirumference of the sensor and the inside surface of the beaker. Turner Designs recommends using a 1L Glass Beaker.

5. Check that the optical surface of the sensor is free of air bubbles.

6. To maximize consistency between measurements, place sensor at exactly the same height for each sample. This is most easily done using a Lab Stand.

7. Finally, of course, be sure your sensor is calibrated, (see User's Manual for Calibration Procedure).


Following the above steps will significantly contribute to the accuracy, consistency and therefore reliability of your measurements with submersible fluorometers in the lab.

For the Turner Designs submersible fluorometers, an alternative way to ensure that the measurement environment is optimized is to use the appropriate flow cap accessory. Contact Turner Designs for additional information.


Pelorus uses CYCLOPS-7 Fluorometer to Characterize Effectiveness of Remedial Fluid Through BioNets™

About Pelorus:
Pelorus Environmental & Biotechnology Corp. (Pelorus) provides environmental and biotechnology solutions for water, air, and soil contamination situations. Their environmental services include bioremediation, chemical oxidation, remediation services, water treatment systems, and air treatment systems. Noted for pioneering Environmental Biotechnology applications and hydraulic fracturing and monitoring their services include biocatalyst development for bioremediation and biotransformation of organic molecules to valuable chemical intermediates, and renewable energy processes, molecular environmental diagnostics, fermentation process development and characterization of biodegradation pathways of organic compounds and the delivery of these processes into the subsurface.

Project Overview:
A recent project, in conjunction with the Artemis Consulting Group was to evaluate the performance of an existing groundwater and soil remediation system. One aspect of the remediation design consists of a patented subsurface treatment area called Bionets. The Bionets are horizontally stacked, hydraulically-emplaced, sand-filled or other solid support filled propagations or fractures. Each Bionet consists of three to four horizontally emplaced fractures. During remediation, the fractures within each Bionet are repeatedly filled with Pelorus proprietary bio-amendments for the purpose of selective dechlorination of specific volatile-organic-compounds (VOCs), otherwise know as constituents-of-concern (COCs).

Figure 1: Example of Bionet Structure showing Tracer Injection Scenario


Remediation Objectives:
The Bionets consist of multiple zones of artificially emplaced porous materials positioned beneath the ground surface at various depths within the zone of contamination. Pelorus wanted to lace the injectate with Rhodamine dye during injections into each of these Bionets to determine which interval was the primary pathway for nutrient migration. By determining which pathway is the primary pathway, Pelorus could modify the existing treatment program at the site to focus injection into those primary zones. This would result in better utilization of their proprietary nutrients resulting in a reduction in chemical costs, and by focusing the remediation to target horizons (primary Bionet migration pathways) the modeled times to reach the remediation objectives, and subsequently, the long-term monitoring costs might be reduced.

Investigation Approach:
Pelorus wanted a way to map or determine the preferred migration path of the injected remedial fluid through the Bionets in both saturated and unsaturated soils at the subject facility.

It was Pelorus's intent to use a Turner Designs Fluorometer to search for the presence of their injectate augmented with Rhodamine in several environmental monitoring wells positioned down-gradient from the point of tracer injections. In addition to monitoring for the presence of Rhodamine dye in selected monitoring wells, Pelorus had a need to vertically profile the water column in each well to identify potential COC-stratification of the water column. Pelorus selected the Turner Designs CYCLOPS-7 fluorometer to meet their specific needs. This fluorometer had the outside dimensions, resolution capabilities, durability, programmability, deployment, and pricing options needed for this project.

Vertical Profiling was required, and therefore they ordered 70 feet of cable for the device.

Graphic 1: Pelorus site setup for monitoring with CYCLOPS-7 in a 2.00" ID PVC well casing.

The intent was to lower the fluorometer into the monitor wells incrementally at one-foot intervals to the bottom of the well (typically 25 -30 feet) and evaluate the water column within the well casing for the presence of injected Rhodamine dye. Measurements of fluorescence would be recorded at one foot intervals thus creating a vertical fluorescence profile of the water columns. This process was conducted before, during, and after the initial injections, then again once every week for several weeks.

In addition to fluorometer profiling, dissolved oxygen (DO) electrical conductance (EC), pH, temp, and oxygen-reduction-potential (ORP) were also vertically profiled.

Two Bionet locations were tested following injection of Rhodamine-laced fluids. Following analysis of all the field data, the fluorometer results provided Pelorus with some exceptional results:

  • Defined zones of stratification not previously identified;
  • Determined which fracture zone in the tested Bionet is the primary zone;
  • Helped further characterize site hydrogeology and;
  • Allowed Pelorus to better understand fluid migration paths, nutrient uptake times; dispersion, and seepage velocities of our remedial fluids.
Chart shows that the flow occurred through the fracture at 14.3 feet. Bioremediation would be focused at this depth achieving economic savings by minimizing the amount of chemical needed.

Additional Information:
For more details on this and other Pelorus remediation programs, please contact:
Pelorus Environmental & Biotechnology Corp
3528 Evergreen Parkway
Evergreen, Colorado 80439
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Waterproof Magnetic Reed Switch Solution Controls CYCLOPS-7 Gain

Scientists at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego (SSC-SD) have developed a quick technique to manually change gain ranges on the CYCLOPS-7 fluorometer. The technique was developed to facilitate making the gain changes in wet field conditions during small boat operations. The CYCLOPS-7 with switch was successfully used to map out fluorescein dye on recent surveys.

Switch Construction
A three-position switch that could ground one of two gain control lines or neither line was required. As is many times the case, there was little budget or time available as the system was required shortly after it was purchased. Custom manufactured cable and underwater switches were expensive and required weeks of lead-time. The solution was to construct a three-way switch from locally available materials. The materials used were 1/2" PVC pipe, pipe tee, pipe union, two magnetic reed switches and a magnet. The switch assembly also served to join the CYCLOPS-7 cable to the cable from the CTD.

All power and signal wires were routed straight through the to the CTD cable, except for the two gain control lines. These were connected to the magnetic reed switches so that when the switches were closed the line would be grounded. The switches were bonded to the inside of the lower half of the union, positioned 180 degrees apart (see figure below). The magnet was bonded in place on the inside of the upper half of the union. By rotating the upper half of the union the magnet could be placed in proximity to one of the reed switches, closing that reed switch and thereby connecting the control to ground. The gain setting of the CYCLOPS-7 was controlled by rotating the union fitting so that one of the switches was closed or neither was closed. Polyurethane potting material was used to fill the interior of the PVC pipe to waterproof the wiring assembly.

CYCLOPS-7 Deployment

Figure 2. Surface fluorescein dye distribution during a mixing zone test. The strong gradient in dye concentrations indicates rapid mixing with ambient waters.

The CYCLOPS-7 with range change switch was utilized in April 2004 to look at dye released from Navy drydock pump systems to evaluate receiving water mixing zones. The CYCLOPS-7 was attached to a SeaBird 19 CTD using the cable containing the ranging switch. Surface water dye concentrations were mapped by towing the CTD with attached CYCLOPS-7 sensor during various tidal conditions.

One survey result is shown in Figure 2 in units of relative fluorescence. The data from these surveys suggest that the drydock discharges are rapidly mixed with the ambient water. It turned out that the range in concentrations observed was sufficiently characterized by the mid range of the CYCLOPS-7 and the switch was not needed for this particular set of surveys. However, it is expected that quickly changing ranges will be important for other planned surveys and for measuring dye concentrations of the starting mixture prior to discharge.

For further information contact:

Chuck Katz or Greg Anderson
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Figure 1. Schematic of manual gain switch for CYCLOPS-7 fluorometer.