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5 Key Features to Look for in a Multiparameter Sonde

Before multiparameter sondes, water monitoring professionals carried a number of single sensor meters, colorimeter kits and a secchi disk to the field.  Water quality data was manually gathered, archived and managed. Sondes have became a preferred technique; both for spot-checking, profile applications and unattended continuous recorders.

Until recently, the thrust of sonde innovation centered on size, or form factor and extending deployment duration by lowering power draw and increasing onboard data storage.  The main result was more, but not necessarily better, water quality data.

What is needed is sonde innovation involving basic senor technology, sensor cleaning and communication. Today’s powerful mobile handhelds provide critical information which should integrate smoothly with stored data.

Here are 5 Musts for a Modern Era Multiparameter Sonde

1. BlueTooth Wireless Communication with iOS or Android mobile device

  • Operate the sonde, manage settings and view data from a mobile device.
  • Log data with Geospatial GPS Tagged Data, Site Photos, Annotation.
  • Push data to the cloud, or email them to your team back at the office.

Important:  Legacy multiparameter sondes require proprietary field displays which are expensive, limited in functionality; often not backward compatible.    

multiparmeter sonde key features

2. Flat sensor faces AND mechanical cleaning

  • Flat sensor face means all parameters are measured at the same depth.
  • Flat sensor face allows the wiper brush to keep all sensors , even conductivity, clear of sediment accumulation and biologic fouling.
  • Clean sensors provide more accurate readings over longer service frequency intervals.

features to look for in a multiparameter sonde

3. Turbidity Sensor

  • Must be highly linear; across changing temperature.
  • Unaffected by sunlight.
  • Require less than 15-ml of calibration standard.

4. LCD Display on Sonde & SD Data Card

  • LCD provides clear indication of current status while profiling… or before you leave a deployed sonde.
  • SD Cards provide a long-term, back-up for stored data and extended diagnostics.

5. Native MODBUS and SDI-12 Communication

  • Flexible communications, without third-party converters or interfaces, provide ease of integration with and RTU, PLCs, SCADA and traditional data collection platforms.



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