Nitrate GW50 (HydroMetrics) - a sensor for ground water nitrate monitoring by Lincoln Agritech
inFact in collaboration with Lincoln Agritech Ltd (LAL) scientists and commercialisation team, developed a low cost, heavy-duty industrial grade optical sensor capable of measuring in real-time the level of nitrate nitrogen concentrations in groundwater. Miniaturisation of the system was essential to allow the device to fit within monitoring wells.
LAL’s scientists identified that lower cost nitrate sensors would improve the quality of groundwater measurements by enabling increased densification of data points, as current approaches are principally based on theoretical modelling rather than on direct measurement.
Farmers are using the GW50 sensors to monitor their nitrate discharges into the environment.
The HydroMetric GW50 sensors are now available for sale and deployment worldwide.
Currently, monitoring is mostly based on modelling, rather than direct measurement of nitrate levels as conventional sampling methods are too expensive to be scalable.
Lincoln Agritech Ltd engaged InFact to translate their sensor technology into a low cost functionally accurate sensor product which has a bespoke profile to fit in small diameter monitoring wells.
inFact worked with LAL to define and understand the processes for set up and use of the nitrate sensor and a developed a specification including technical, user and commercial requirements.
inFact engineers researched, innovated and experimented with a variety of new technology challenges including precise
stainless steel machining to ensure critical alignment of the optical components used for the measurements. Miniaturisation and shielding of the electronic components to reduce noise was a size optimisation challenge.
inFact developed a robust, competitively priced sensor that fits into narrow wells for real-time monitoring of ground water nitrate levels.