menu button The EU flag - Blue with a circle of gold stars
11 June 2020
iSPEX-2 is a low-cost, smartphone based tool for taking ocean colour and aerosol measurements. In his latest paper, MONOCLE researcher O. Burggraaff presents an upgraded version of its predecessor which works on all smartphones and uses the SPECTACLE method and  database  for  camera  calibration, offering  data  similar  in  quality  to  professional  radio-meters. This powerful instrument is now moving from the design phase into production and testing for future use in low-costs laboratory and portable spectroscopy and more widely by citizen scientists to measure surface reflectance. Read full paper for more information.


Spectropolarimetry is a powerful technique for remote sensing of the environment. It enables the retrieval of particle shape and size distributions in air and water to an extent that traditional spectroscopy cannot. SPEX is an instrument concept for spectropolarimetry through spectral modulation, providing snapshot, and hence accurate, hyperspectral intensity and degree and angle of linear polarization. Successful SPEX instruments have included groundSPEX and SPEX airborne, which both measure aerosol optical thickness with high precision, and soon SPEXone, which will fly on PACE. Here, we present a low-cost variant for consumer cameras, iSPEX 2, with universal smartphone support. Smartphones enable citizen science measurements which are significantly more scaleable, in space and time, than professional instruments. Universal smartphone support is achieved through a modular hardware design and SPECTACLE data processing. iSPEX 2 will be manufactured through injection molding and 3D printing. A smartphone app for data acquisition and processing is in active development. Production, calibration, and validation will commence in the summer of 2020. Scientific applications will include citizen science measurements of aerosol optical thickness and surface water reflectance, as well as low-cost laboratory and portable spectroscopy.

Read full paper

Share this page:


iSPEX 2: A universal smartphone add-on for portable spectroscopy and polarimetry

O. Burggraaff, A. Perduijn, R. van Hek, N. Schmidt, C. Keller and F. Snik (2020). "A universal smartphone add-on for portable spectroscopy and polarimetry: iSPEX 2"

  • Diagram of iSPEX

    Image above: Diagram of iSPEX

  • Navigation

    Partner login


    Funded by the European Union

    This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 776480.


    Stefan Simis
    Principal Investigator

    Jess Heard
    Project Manager
    Project Office
    Plymouth Marine Laboratory,
    Prospect Place,
    PL1 3DH

    +44 (0) 1752 633 100

    Sign up for updates

    Enter your details below to receive updates on the MONOCLE project. We will use your data for this purpose only and it will not be shared with any third parties.
     Security code
    Copyright Plymouth Marine Laboratory 2020.
    For technical queries related to this website please contact :