Turner Designs’ Databank Handheld Datalogger is upgraded to include an internal GPS chipset allowing users to log GPS coordinates along with measurement data for location tracking.  Using GPS & GLONASS Global Navigation Satellite System, DataBank provides horizontal position accuracy of 2.5 meters.  DataBank stores up to 9,999 records as well as 16 calibrations and uses an intuitive GUI interface for configuring and calibrating Cyclops sensors; logged data are downloaded via USB.  DataBank’s internal rechargeable battery provides continuous measurements up to 15 hours or continuous GPS data collection up to 5 hours.

Databank comes with one factory-installed cable that supplies power to and communicates with Turner Designs’ Cyclops sensors.  Standard Cyclops sensors are available for detecting: in vivo Chlorophyll, Crude Oil, Refined Fuels, CDOM/FDOM (dissolved organic material), Blue/Green Algae, Fluorescein Dye, Rhodamine Dye, PTSA Dye, Optical Brighteners, Tryptophan, and Turbidity.  Cyclops sensors can also be configured with custom optics for specialized applications per customer request.

Integrated GPS data are important for field work such as conducting dye trace studies, mapping algal blooms, or looking for the presence of optical brighteners as an indicator of wastewater contamination.  Small and lightweight, DataBank is ideal for such remote field work.

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Following detailed scientific and technical evaluation by the Environmental Protection Department of Saudi Aramco, the Turner Designs’ Ballast-Check 2 Handheld PAM Fluorometer (USA) is approved as a valid Ballast Water Sampling Instrument.  Saudi Aramco will now accept results from certified technicians using Turner Designs Ballast-Check 2 Handheld PAM Fluorometer in addition to the other previously approved instrumentation.   Saudi Aramco announced in August that all ships calling at its ports and terminals are required to provide ballast water test results to show compliance with the IMO BWM 2004 convention.  It has been a challenge to sample all the arriving ships and Saudi Aramco looks forward to having additional certified technicians and instrumentation performing the tests.

Ballast-Check 2 is a small, lightweight, highly durable handheld fluorometer ideal for quick indicative compliance checks of ballast water. Factory set, Ballast-Check 2 is ready for use right out of the box, no calibration necessary. Extremely simple one-button measurements display estimates in less than 1 minute of both algal abundance and algal activity, providing ship crew or port state control with an indication of risk for exceedance of the regulation. Small, battery-powered, water-proof, and easy to use, Ballast-Check 2 is perfect for field use. Ballast-Check 2 is ideal for quick on-the-spot assessments of the effectiveness of a Ballast Water Treatment System.

Turner Designs is working closely with several service providers to train and certify them to support Saudi Aramco as more are needed.  Turner Designs is partnered with Wilhelmsen Ships Services to provide worldwide sales and support of Ballast-Check 2 to ship owners and operators.

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Environmental conditions are changing leading to significant shifts in algal populations. An example of this is the noticeable worldwide increase in Harmful Algal Blooms, primarily cyanobacteria. Identifying algal groups within a total phytoplankton population is critical as some groups can be toxic, affecting public health and economies. Turner Designs is excited to introduce products facilitating increased understanding of the composition of algae populations.

PhytoFind provides in situ algal classification distinguishing among algal groups using specific fluorescence signatures. Real-time abundance estimates are calculated for PE-containing algae (mixed group), PC-containing algae (Cyanophyceae), and total algae (all other algal groups). Calculations include an automatic correction for interference from dissolved organic materials (DOM) providing more accurate real-time estimates. Optics are optimized to minimize interference from turbidity.  Abundances are displayed and logged as group percentages along with temperature, depth, and accurate chlorophyll (µg/L) concentrations.

PhytoFind’s durable Delrin housing is highly resistant to harsh environments. Additional antifouling materials such as wipers and copper plates can be included to minimize biofouling for long term deployments.  If deploying long-term, a high capacity external submersible battery with an estimated maximum deployment time of three months is available.  All PhytoFinds have a large capacity for internal memory storage (over 60,000 data lines).

PhytoFind is factory-calibrated; no calibration standards or tools are required.  Solid state optoelectronics ensure long term instrument stability.  Solid reference standards are available for users wanting to confirm stability in the calibration.

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We now have a series of short videos that provide an overview of using the Ballast-Check 2 Handheld Fluorometer.  Videos include:

What’s in the Box
Setting ship and tank values
Using the calibration check standard
Measuring a sample – LOW risk reading
Measuring a sample – HIGH risk reading
Filter washing
Data Download



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DNA quantitation is an essential step for several life science research protocols.  The Trilogy Laboratory Fluorometer now offers a plug-in module for DNA quantitation (p/n  using Hoechst 33258 dye extending its flexibility for measurements beyond environmental applications.  For details on the method please see our application note.

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A shipboard comparison of analytic methods for ballast water compliance monitoring

Instrument: Ballast-Check 2 Handheld PAM Fluorometer


Johanna Bradie, Katja Broeg , Claudio Gianoli, Jianjun He, Susanne Heitmüller, Alberto Lo Curto, Akiko Nakata, Manfred Rolke, Lothar Schillak, Peter Stehouwer, Julie Vanden Byllaardt, Marcel Veldhuis, Nick Welschmeyer, Lawrence Younan , André Zaake , Sarah Bailey

Year Published:2017

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Congratulations to Eric Moody who was awarded a travel stipend for his presentation “From Farms to Fish Pee: Agricultural Growth Alters the Stoichiometry of Nutrient Recycling by a Desert Fish” at the 2017 Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting featuring our AquaFluor Handheld Fluorometer.

View Presentation

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Congratulations to Joseph Wasswa who was awarded a travel stipend for his presentation “Assessing the potential of fluorescence spectroscopy to track the presence of contaminants in water reuse systems” at the 253rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition featuring our C3 Submersible Fluorometer.

View Presentation

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California State Lands Commission (CSLC) recently completed a validation exercise of three indicative sampling tools while developing their draft compliance assessment protocols. They evaluated the sampling tools with three different ballast water treatment systems – one UV system and two Electrochlorination systems. In all three assessments, the Ballast-Check 2 results were very similar to the microscopy and flow cytometry results (mean results over three replicates showed a maximum difference of 3 cells/mL, always matching the risk of exceedance level). Chris Brown, Senior Environmental Scientist with the Commission’s Marine Invasive Species Program, presented the results of their validation at the March 16, 2017 ICES/IMO Ballast Water Workgroup meeting. He detailed the planned compliance assessment protocols, if adopted, would be multi-tiered – 1) paperwork, calibration, & functionality; 2) indicative sampling; and 3) full scale testing.  Indicative tools such as the Ballast-Check 2 would be employed when the second tier of indicative sampling is deemed necessary.

>>Learn more about Ballast-Check 2

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Turbidity Plus with Integrated Wiper

Turbidity measurements are often made in shallow waters and keeping the instrument optical face clear is particularly important.  Turner Designs is excited to introduce a new turbidity sensor addressing this issue with a simple solution.  Turbidity Plus is an accurate single-channel turbidity sensor including an integrated wiper which is triggered by the user.  It is designed for integration with multiparameter systems and dataloggers from which it receives power and the wiper trigger. Turbidity Plus delivers a voltage output proportional to the turbidity of the sample which can be correlated to nephelometric turbidity unit (NTU) values by calibrating with a standard of known concentration.  Deployable to 200m, Turbidity Plus is available with or without a plastic housing for simplified integration.  >>Learn More

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