The development of low-cost instrumentation plays a key role in marine environmental studies and represents one of the most innovative aspects of current oceanographic research. These kinds of devices can be used for several applications, ranging from vertical profilers to stand-alone systems, and can be installed on different platforms (buoys, Voluntary Observing Ships, underwater vehicles, etc.
). The availability of low-cost technologies enables the realization of extended observatory networks for the study of marine physical and biological processes through an integrated approach merging in situ
observations, forecasting models and remotely sensed data. We present new low-cost sensors and probes developed to measure marine temperature, conductivity, chlorophyll a
and Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter fluorescence, focusing on sensing strategies, general architecture, laboratory trials, in situ
tests and comparison with standard instruments. Furthermore, we report the expendable (New T-FLaP
), vertical profiler (T-FLaPpro
) and stand-alone (Spectra
) applications of these technological developments that were tested during several oceanographic surveys in the Mediterranean Sea.
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