Instrument for Measurement of Oceanic Particle Size Distribution from Submicron to Mesoplankton

Period of Performance: 04/25/2016 - 04/24/2018


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Sequoia Scientific, Inc.
2700 Richards Road
Bellevue, WA 98005
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Particle size distribution (PSD) is a fundamental environmental measurement, with diverse biogeochemical applications including carbon cycle science, ecosystem and fisheries modeling, and harmful algal bloom (HAB) detection/prediction. There is optimism that estimates of PSD will be available from ocean color measurements (such as NASA's upcoming PACE mission), and will be able to help constrain global-scale ecosystem/carbon models and estimates of primary production. However, natural PSD variability is not well understood due to the challenges of routine measurement, and there exists little field data over large space and time scales. We propose to bridge this gap by developing an instrument for ship-based flow-through application that uses laser scattering from multiple wavelengths for estimation of the PSD across a wide range of particle sizes from 0.1 to 500 micron, covering a range from the smallest oceanic pico-plankton to larger meso-plankton.