In-situ groundwater monitoring system developed by CSIRO

CSIRO Head Office

Tuesday, 29 October, 2019


In-situ groundwater monitoring system developed by CSIRO

The SENSEI advanced in-situ sensor system is designed to provide mining operators and water managers with real-time data to efficiently monitor and manage groundwater.

Replacing labour-intensive manual monitoring techniques, the multi-sensor system is capable of simultaneously collecting data on pH, reduction potential, temperature and conductivity.

CSIRO Research Leader Dr Kathie McGregor said the SENSEI system offers a better solution to current groundwater monitoring methods.

“SENSEI is an automated system that delivers reliable groundwater data in real time, saving companies time and money on labour from traditional manual monitoring approaches,” she said.

The solid-state multi-sensor array features CSIRO’s patented pH sensor and reference electrode innovation based on advanced sensor chemistry and materials. The robust sensor unit can be embedded into groundwater wells and aquifers and deliver continuous data for months without the need for manual calibration or maintenance. Third-party sensors can also be integrated into the systems attached to the solid-state multi-sensor array.

With real-time analytical capability, SENSEI can provide early alerts so companies can mitigate environmental issues arising in groundwater management.

“Because data can be accessed immediately onsite or remotely via the cloud, the user has the ability to detect any anomalies quickly and take action as soon as possible,” McGregor said.

SENSEI has been built to withstand extreme environments and has already been successfully trialled at Heathgate Resources’ Four Mile West mine in South Australia.

“We’ve been able to test SENSEI’s performance in a real-world setting and are pleased to report the system is still operational after almost 12 months of testing in the field,” McGregor added.

SENSEI has been designed and tested for use in groundwater monitoring but could be adapted for other applications that need chemical and physical monitoring in extreme environments. It helps solve challenges associated with environmental monitoring and resource performance through innovative science and technology.

CSIRO is now looking for partners to bring the technology to market.

A prototype unit will be on display at the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne this week.

Image caption: SENSEI is an autonomous off-grid system which delivers continuous data streams from remote locations. Powered by a solar panel, the data is transmitted via an internet connection direct from the source and into the digital cloud, giving users the ability to access and analyse the information onsite or from farther afield.

Originally published here.

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