EU network of mesocosms facilities for research on marine and freshwater ecosystems open for global collaboration.

Task 8.1

Task 8.1
Task 8.2

Task 8.1. Based on the best practice analysis and reviews on existing systems (WP3), we will identify the technical aims in terms of automated sensoring for tomorrow’s mesocosm research. Two technically-oriented topical workshops on sensor systems will be held in the early phase of the project (M3-6) to organize our effort in optimizations of relevant sensor systems: detailed development plans for an in situ LAMP Sensor System (Task 8.1.1) and an integrated flow-through measurement system (Task 8.1.2), both aiming at delivering high-frequency, real-time data on planktonic processes. The two systems are complementary in the gaps they fill and are therefore developed in parallel as this will result in more flexibility for performing mesocosm experiments under different conditions and at varying localities. The LAMP Sensor Systeme will be developed to be deployed even under ice, and therefore would be suitable for working in extreme conditions (like arctic under ice operations). Moreover, the LAMP Sensor System is designed for automatically monitoring at high frequency (up to 20 measurements p hr) and high precision requiring a minimum of maintenance, thus allowing for experiments at remote locations/involving limited personnel. The AquaBox, on the other hand, is a stationary system mounted on a e.g. raft and connected through valves and tubing to mesocosms. Hence it allows employing high precision measurements that require closed flow cells and chemical reagents (like nutrient measurements). Involving technology such as sequential flow analytics, the AquaBox has higher requirements in terms of maintenance (chemical reagents) and power supply.

Both systems will create data at high frequency (but temporal resolution will be much higher for the Lamp Sensor System), which allows to address processes acting over short time scales (e.g. diurnal cycles; short- term responses to fertilization). Experts on analysis of high frequency data are involved in this WP (E.Jeppesen, AU; Francesco Pomati, EAWAG) and will share their experience. A topical WS on data handling and interpretation of high frequency data will be organized in WP3 early in the project.

Subtask 8.1.1: WS on LAMP Sensor System at CNRS/Montpellier (Lead: CNRS, Contributors: WCL, SYKE, RF Sense, Month 6)

Presentation of available LAMP Sensor System and other in situ sensors. It is envisaged to invite also SMEs such as SYSTEA to present theoretically and practically the nutrient probes. The objective of this WS is to share the knowledge about existing sensors and to discuss their optimal use in mesocosm experiments. Furthermore, adjustments of the sensor system for the mesocosm experiments scheduled in WP7 & WP9 will be detailed.

Subtask 8.1.2: WS on flow-through technology at SYKE/Helsinki (Lead: SYKE, Contributors: WCL, LMU, CNRS, Month 8).

Existing solutions for flow-through measurements systems (Ferrybox systems, other unattended platforms in buoys, gliders, coastal stations etc.) are reviewed and analysed regarding to their applicability to mesocosm research with multiple treatment units. This WS serves also to specify the aims for subtask 8.2.2. as to match the experimental setup in WP7 & WP9.

Task 8.2: Development of standardized sensor systems (Lead: WCL, Contributors: SYKE, CNRS, LMU, GEOMAR, AU, ENS, IGB, RF-SENS, Month 10-48).

Starting from existing systems, this task will advance the technology in autonomous measurements in mesocosm research. We will benefit from existing collaborations of partners (including related RI consortia such as Jerico-NEXT). SME companies will be involved through subcontracting for contributing specific sensoring technology whenever necessary.

Fig. 8.1. Sketch of the basic setup of Lamp Sensor System and Aquabox. The main data logger of the LAMP Sensor System controls the operation of the sensors and can be used for relaying messages for adjusting the sensors as well as for transmission of data to a remote PC on the research vessel or on land (up to 5 km distance). Power supply for LAMP Sensor System can be provided by a solar panel, a 36 Ah 12 V battery, or from main land. Power supply for Aquabox will be provided from main land. The AquaBox is controlled from a land-based IT infrastructure.