Sydney Widell: Boat-Mounted, Real-time Water Quality Monitoring

UW-Madison Center for Limnology

Dubbed, the “FLAMe,” it is a limnological measurement system that University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers and freshwater ecologists from Emily Stanley’s lab at the Center for Limnology have been perfecting over the last decade. FLAMe stands for Fast Limnological Automated Measurements and it allows researchers to take near real-time samples of water at the surface of a body of water. Strapped to the back of the boat, the FLAMe’s intake pipe sucks water into the system and uses a series of tubes to pass the water over sensors measuring things like turbidity, free dissolved organic matter, temperature, dissolved oxygen and the presence of greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide and methane. That water is then ejected out of the back of the boat as new water is sucked in.