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Open AccessArticle

A Printable Device for Measuring Clarity and Colour in Lake and Nearshore Waters

Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, Devon PL1 3DH, UK
National Centre for Earth Observation, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, Devon PL1 3DH, UK
Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 9BB, UK
Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, Dorset BH12 5BB, UK
CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Regional Centre Kochi, Kerala 682018, India
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, University of Southampton, Southampton, Hampshire SO14 3ZH, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sensors 2019, 19(4), 936;
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Ocean Colour: Theory and Applications)
Two expanding areas of science and technology are citizen science and three-dimensional (3D) printing. Citizen science has a proven capability to generate reliable data and contribute to unexpected scientific discovery. It can put science into the hands of the citizens, increasing understanding, promoting environmental stewardship, and leading to the production of large databases for use in environmental monitoring. 3D printing has the potential to create cheap, bespoke scientific instruments that have formerly required dedicated facilities to assemble. It can put instrument manufacturing into the hands of any citizen who has access to a 3D printer. In this paper, we present a simple hand-held device designed to measure the Secchi depth and water colour (Forel Ule scale) of lake, estuarine and nearshore regions. The device is manufactured with marine resistant materials (mostly biodegradable) using a 3D printer and basic workshop tools. It is inexpensive to manufacture, lightweight, easy to use, and accessible to a wide range of users. It builds on a long tradition in optical limnology and oceanography, but is modified for ease of operation in smaller water bodies, and from small watercraft and platforms. We provide detailed instructions on how to build the device and highlight examples of its use for scientific education, citizen science, satellite validation of ocean colour data, and low-cost monitoring of water clarity, colour and temperature. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizen science; 3D printing; water clarity; water colour; secchi disk citizen science; 3D printing; water clarity; water colour; secchi disk
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MDPI and ACS Style

Brewin, R.J.W.; Brewin, T.G.; Phillips, J.; Rose, S.; Abdulaziz, A.; Wimmer, W.; Sathyendranath, S.; Platt, T. A Printable Device for Measuring Clarity and Colour in Lake and Nearshore Waters. Sensors 2019, 19, 936.

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