• New Handheld Sensing System for Field Applications

Environmental Laboratory

New Handheld Sensing System for Field Applications

Nov 14 2008

Valuable real-time data can now be collected in a variety of settings with the Jaz, a handheld, field-portable analytical instrument from Ocean Optics (The Netherlands) that combines the power of optical sensing with onboard computing power. The level of flexibility Jaz provides will change analysis in custom applications ranging from crop management and environmental analysis to UV radiation and ozone monitoring.
Because of its size and versatility, Jaz is a convenient analytical
tool for applications across various industries and disciplines. The
spectral data collected and analyzed by Jaz can help environmentalists, ecologists and geologists take accurate forest canopy measurements, examine mineral and soil composition onsite, evaluate water quality, monitor pollution, study volcanic gas and help marine biologists and hatcheries measure upwelling/downwellling, and supply fluorescence readings to gauge the health of fish, corals and other sea life.
Jaz is a family of stackable, modular and autonomous components -- a typical setup for field use is about the size of a few decks of cards stacked atop each other -- that share common electronics and communications. At its heart is a miniature CCDarray spectrometer, or light measuring device, available with user-selected grating and slit options optimized for a variety of optical sensing application needs. Also incorporated into the Jaz stack is a powerful microprocessor and onboard display with data logging capability, so that full spectra data can be acquired, processed and stored without the need for a PC.
Jaz’s Ethernet and battery modules offer additional functionality for field use. The Ethernet module has data storage capability via an SD card slot and allows users to connect to the Jaz unit via the Internet, making remote measurements possible and enabling the creation of networked sensing modules. For example, a community of Jaz users could map atmospheric ozone measurements around the world and share the data nearly instantaneously.
“The Jaz system is very versatile, as our early adopter customers have demonstrated,” says Mike Kayat, Ocean Optics Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “We have customers now involved in field applications such as environmental engineering, as well as in drug discovery and materials analysis. That’s the power of Jaz – that it is easily adaptable for field, lab or process environments.”

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