Instrument

OptoKnowledge Methane Sensor Package shipboard ready for deployment

OptoKnowledge – InSitu Methane Sensor

OptoKnowledge has developed a methane sensor, which can determine both the concentration and the carbon isotope ratio of methane while operating in-situ at depth. The sensor combines a novel laser absorption spectroscopy gas sensor with a membrane-free approach to water sampling and was developed under funding from the NOAA SBIR Program. The sensor has been demonstrated in a CTD deployment (June 2021) and will further be utilized by NOAA researchers on a ROV (July 2022). The approach will provide significantly more data and at a cost savings as compared to the analysis of returned samples. Sensor Capabilities There is a critical need for deep ocean chemical sensors that can address outstanding questions in oceanography and earth science, including the role of methane in the global carbon cycle. Current measurement strategies involve collecting a limited number of samples, which are initially processed on-board ships, and then later analyzed in a shore-based laboratory through a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. An in-situ, real-time methane sensor could provide the ability to analyze a far greater number of samples, as well as spatially resolve variations and better target measurement locations. This enhanced capability would facilitate: Undersea Methane Vents (CREDIT: OptoKnowledge) Finding methane seep and hydrothermal vent sites Understanding the fate of methane in the water column Quantifying the extent of microbial activity in vent systems Track methane production and fractionation in real-time. OptoKnowledge Systems, Inc. (OKSI) was founded in 1991 and specializes in developing turn-key sensors for challenging environments. The office is located in Torrance, CA. Jason Kriesel, OKSI, Lead Scientist jason.Kriesel@optoknowledge.com | 310-756-0520 https://optoknowledge.com/environmental-sensing/ Federal Procurement – Sole Source Information The right to receive sole-source awards is a real benefit of the SBIR Program both to the government and to the participating companies. The SBA SBIR/STTR Policy Directive dictates the justification that an agency can and must use to justify the sole-source award. Predictably, that justification reads that the new award must derive from, extend, or complete prior SBIR effort and be funded with non- SBIR funds.

Nucleic Sensing Systems eDNA Tracker shown at water's edge

Autonomous, Real-Time, Field-Deployable Genetic Detection Technology

The Tracker is the world’s only field-deployable, automatic, web-connected monitoring tool, able to report real-time data on environmental DNA (eDNA). By taking the human out of the loop, we connect autonomous high-frequency sampling with geospatial data to better monitor biological activity. Tracker Capabilities Continuous-flow operation giving real-time results Operating with commercially available liquid reagents that require no refrigeration which eases logistical concerns No concentration, separation, or purification of samples required Simultaneous multi-species detection enables geospatial and temporal data for mapping and optimizing a management response Autonomous, GPS integration, Cloud-connected software interface with data & alerts Digital genetic verification via PCR with general specificity Federal Procurement – Sole Source Information The right to receive sole-source awards is a real benefit of the SBIR Program both to the government and to the participating companies. The SBA SBIR/STTR Policy Directive dictates the justification that an agency can and must use to justify the sole-source award. Predictably, that justification reads that the new award must derive from, extend, or complete prior SBIR effort and be funded with non- SBIR funds. For inquiries about this technology, please contact Nucleic Sensing Systems directly. 1-Page Fact Sheet

Giner Harmful Algal Bloom Detection Instrument next to aerial view of a harmful algal bloom on the water.

Low Cost Instrument for Detection of Toxins in Seawater During Harmful Algal Blooms

Technology Overview Giner, Inc. (Giner) has developed a low-cost, portable instrument for detection of toxins found in seawater during harmful algal blooms (HABs). During these HAB events the rapid growth of Karenia brevis algae leads to a significant increase in local concentrations of a marine neurotoxin, brevetoxin (BTX). High density blooms of K. brevis, “red tides”, are endemic to the Gulf of Mexico and frequently occur on a nearly annual basis. Giner’s field-ready toxin analyzer, developed with NOAA SBIR Phase II funding, uses aptamer modified screen printed electrodes (SPEs) to bind with brevetoxin present in ocean water. This is followed by a rapid electrochemical analysis step to elucidate toxin concentrations. The resulting assay is portable and more cost efficient than traditional methods but has a similar limit of detection, making it possible for use as a red tide early warning tool. This novel assay has been incorporated into a custom prototype handheld device that performs the electrochemical detection step and data recording either locally or by Bluetooth using a nearby tablet or laptop computer. The complete instrument can be easily carried and used along the Florida coastline to better detect and monitor the severity of HAB events. Advantages Traditional benchtop instruments (i.e. HPLC-MS) used to measure brevetoxin are bulky, expensive, and they require skilled technicians to operate. Sample-to-result turnaround time is, at best, on the order of hours but typically requires several days. The health and economic effects of a red tide on nearby communities are exacerbated by this delay. Additionally, samples need to be collected, transported, and sometimes stored at the testing facility prior to analysis, creating several logistical hurdles for those performing the analysis. Conversely, ELISA or other antibody based immunoassay techniques are more accessible while performing field work, but they lack the sensitivity and selectivity of traditional chromatography techniques. These assays also necessitate a cocktail of complex reagents that do not store or travel well. Giner’s electrochemical toxin assay and the analyzer instrument would provide HAB researchers and public health officials with several advantages over the current state of the art toxin monitoring. The aptamer functionalized SPEs are inexpensive, easy to fabricate and can be stored for months before use. Testing is rapid (<30 min sample-to-result) and inexpensive (<$15/sample). Lastly, the parts-per-billion level limit of detection can alert officials to a red tide event far before the current visual methodologies of beach observation and satellite imagery. Partners Florida Map with MOTE Beach Conditions Reporting Sites (Credit: MOTE Marine Lab) Through the NOAA Phase II funding, Giner was able to partner with Mote Marine Laboratory (Mote), based in Sarasota, FL, to guide development of the sensor to better fit the needs of potential end users. Giner worked closely with Dr. Richard Pierce (Senior Scientist for Ecotoxicology at Mote) who provided valuable insight on red tide ecology as well as the necessary K. brevis lab work.  This collaboration has subsequently led to several other HAB related partnerships, including adaptation of Giner’s technology to detect aerosolized brevetoxin found in ocean spray to monitor respiratory health concerns for communities adjacent to Florida’s coastal regions. By leveraging Mote’s Beach Conditions Reporting System (BCRS), Giner’s rapid aerosol toxin data would feed into the daily reports of red tide conditions (e.g. respiratory irritation, dead fish, and discolored waters). Giner’s goal is to distribute a handheld portable instrument to trained beach sentinels (lifeguards, government agents, and vetted volunteers) to improve airborne detection and data resolution. The BCRS has become a staple for residents and visitors, acquiring over 1 million users and over 4 million page views to the website alone. Data from this effort is also automatically sent to GCOOS, NOAA, and FWC. Federal Procurement Information The right to receive sole-source awards is a real benefit of the SBIR Program both to the government and to the participating companies. The SBA SBIR/STTR Policy Directive dictates the justification that an agency can and must use to justify the sole-source award. Predictably, that justification reads that the new award must derive from, extend, or complete prior SBIR effort and be funded with non- SBIR funds. For inquiries about this technology, please contact Giner, Inc. directly.    

Four Channel Cavity Ringdown NOy Detector

The instrument has lower power, size, weight, and vacuum requirements than a chemiluminescence-based instrument while approaching its sensitivity, precision and time response. In the NOy CRDS instrument of the present invention, NOy and its components are converted into NO2 by thermal decomposition (TD) in a fused silica inlet (henceforth referred to as quartz, following convention), followed by the addition of ozone to convert NO to NO2. NO2 is then measured using a cavity ring-down spectroscopy instrument, utilizing a 405 nm laser. The device may comprise four parallel channels, each driven by the same laser, to measure NO, NO2, NOy and O3, respectively, such that overall NOy may be measured, as well as its components NO, NO2, as well as ozone (O3).

sub-surface automated dual water sampler (SAS)

Sub-Surface Automated Dual Water Sampler (SAS)

Sub-Surface Automated Dual Water Sampler (SAS) Designed by researchers at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the University of Miami to help scientists study water chemistry on shallow reef habitats. Explore the SAS website, use it to guide you in building and using your own water samplers, embrace the maker movement and improve on our design. If you are a teacher, there are free lesson plans to download that include labs and activities related to science, technology, and engineering.  Check out the NOAA SAS website and please use the SAS to learn about and explore our oceans!