In this work, we present a newly developed submersible spectrofluorometer (patent pending) applied to real-time sensing of water quality, suitable for monitoring some important indicators of the ecological status of natural waters such as chlorophyll-a, oil and protein-like material. For the optomechanical realization of the apparatus, a novel conceptual design has been adopted in order to avoid filters and pumps while maintaining a high signal-to-noise ratio. The elimination of filters and pumps has the advantage of greater system simplicity and especially of avoiding the risk of sample degradation. The use of light-emitting diodes as an excitation source instead of Xe lamps or laser diodes helped save on size, weight, power consumption and costs. For sensor calibration we performed measurements on water samples with added chlorophyll prepared in the laboratory. The sensor functionality was tested during field campaigns conducted at Albano Lake in Latium Region of Italy as well as in the Herzliya Harbor, a few kilometers North East of Tel Aviv in Israel. The obtained results are reported in the paper. The sensitivity achieved for chlorophyll-a detection was found to be at least 0.2 µg/L.
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