Environmental monitoring of microbe metabolic transformation.
Advanced Sensing Technology for Algal Biotechnology (ASTAB) is an integrated package of water quality and algal physiology sensors. This sensor technology is expected to significantly increase the productivity of algal growth systems by facilitating process automation and increasing performance in large scale algal production facilities. ASTAB is a small neutrally buoyant instrumented package which travels throughout algal growth systems (e.g., photobioreators, raceways, ponds, bags, and tubes) with water flow. Multiple sensing capability for physical, chemical, and biological parameters are incorporated. Position information, and data on physical and biological parameters in the raceway or pond, are transmitted via a wireless network. Data can be read alone or used to control local automatic devices to make appropriate changes to water quality. ASTAB can be stand alone, providing continuous real time data to operators, or can be interfaced with prognostics software in development to generate biomass production forecasts.