CoastalOceanVision, Scientist, Dr. Scott Gallager and Research
Assistant Cameron Fairclough installed the next generation CPICS on the Bourne Tidal Test Site (BTTS) structure near the bridge to Cape Cod, MA.
The system is being installed at the BTTS to take optical samples of the water to identify, quantify and characterize species of phytoplankton and zooplankton that are flowing through the canal. The sensor is on the test structure for up to a year. Data are aggregated at the BTTS and will be transmitted in near real time. It will then be available on the Coastal Ocean Vision web site:
The Bourne Test Site provides an accessible but secure site for testing sensors. The Blue Economy, from aquaculture to offshore wind turbines, is dependent on a wide variety of sensors to operate efficiently in the ocean’s harsh environment and to ensure environmental impacts are minimized.
This installation is part of a project that Gallager has to quantify and characterize plankton community structure at the BTTS and to track microplastics coming from the Deer Island Sewage Treatment plant located in Boston Harbor as they transit the canal and make their way into Buzzards Bay. NOAA Sea Grant is funding the project to better understand the retention efficiency of microplastics by waste water treatment facilities. An added bonus is that future versions of the CPICS sensor will be able to detect and classify Harmful Algal Bloom Species that cause the red tide.
To see pictures and video from the deployment and ongoing maintenance please visit: https://coastaloceanvision.com/deployments/cccanal/pictures/
CPICS Background : The Continuous Particle Imaging and Classification System (CPICS) is an imaging
sensor that produces unprecedented information for in-situ aquatic microscopy of seawater and
freshwater environments. Using darkfield illumination, the CPICS-1000-e captures high-resolution color images, showing features as small as 10µm and as large as several cm. Color information is key to
high-accuracy classification while also providing important physiological information such as
pigmentation due to grazing on phytoplankton. Because of its open-flow approach to water sampling, the delicate structures of plankton and particles remain intact as do predator-prey interactions. Future versions of CPICS will have laser-based stimulation of Raman Spectroscopic information allowing for
characterization of molecular information such as pigments and toxins, if present.
The CPICS-1000-e is Coastal Ocean Vision’s latest development, which features embedded processing, region of interest (ROI) extraction, and on-board plankton classification. Stand-alone deployments on CTD Rosettes and autonomous platforms or vehicles – from large research vessels to row boats – make CPICS-1000-e an indispensable tool for researchers and resource managers alike.