The WISPstation is a high-end, affordable, extremely low power optical instrument to measure water-leaving reflectance from buoys and at fixed locations. Without any moving parts, it is still able to reliably capture the water leaving reflectance during the biggest part of the day. It uses two sets of sensors in a carefully chosen configuration to measure the light reflecting from the water for the full visible and near-infrared spectral range. The reflectance observations are used to validate satellite measurements of water-leaving reflectance produced by various ‘atmospheric correction’ models.
From the reflectance it determines the concentrations of the most important bio-physical water quality parameters such as chlorophyll, cyanobacterial pigment, suspended matter, the presence of scums and transparency.
The WISPstation sends the measurements automatically over 3G or 4G to WISPcloud, which processes the measurements, applies a first quality check and makes the results available via an API. Measurement frequency is easily adjusted to suite the user’s requirements (Peters et al., 2018
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Added value of the WISPstation for water managers
Traditional forms of monitoring water quality, especially for harmful algae blooms, are limited spatially and temporally as well as by the time it takes to process the collected water samples. Optical measurements provide a new and innovative solution for effective monitoring of surface water quality.
The ability to measure water quality parameters as a high frequency time-series at a fixed location makes the instrument very suitable for routine unattended monitoring and as input to data-driven (machine learning) prediction models.
The WISPstation measures the main water quality parameters fully autonomously, in a high frequency (e.g. every 15 minutes), emission-free and without any chemicals, and makes the results available near-real-time, directly visible within the systems of clients, and/or with immediate warnings to the public.
In MONOCLE a very reliable low power consumption solution was realized. A semi-portable version is under development.