An electronic meter for measuring sea salt concentration in the Gulf of Aden has been launched by India and the US in a bid to counter a spike in the pollution of the sea.
The Meter 1A-200, which weighs 2.4 tonnes and can measure seawater concentrations of up to 0.2 micrograms per liter, has been commissioned by the Indian Navy and US Navy.
The meter has a battery power supply and can be fitted with a range of sensors to measure sea salt and other pollutants, including boron nitrate, sulphur dioxide, methane and CO 2 .
It can also measure the density of seawater.
The meter has been designed to monitor concentrations of dissolved salts in seawater, as well as for the measurement of the dissolved CO 2 concentration in seawaters, as it does not rely on atmospheric readings.
The measurement is then made by analysing a combination of electrochemistry, chemical analysis and spectroscopy.
“The meter is very good in terms of its range of functions.
We can monitor water salinity in various ways, from its salt content to its concentrations of salts in the water, as we have done for years,” the navy’s head of marine and coastal navigation, Ashok Kumar, said.
The first of its kind, the Meter 1B-200 will be deployed in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea, he added.
The navy’s plans to use the meter include installing a range-of-function system to monitor ocean surface salinity, and the ability to measure CO 2 concentrations.
“We will be able to monitor sea salt levels and CO2 levels in the ocean and then send that data to the data centre and make it available to the operators.
So, the operator will know the extent of the CO 2 contamination and also the sea salt content,” Kumar said.
He said the unit would also be used for the monitoring of CO 2 levels in water.
The Meter 1C-200 was developed by the US, with India’s involvement.
It will be used to monitor the concentrations of sulphur oxides, methane, CO 2 and nitrates in the air, and for measuring CO 2 in the sea, he said.
The US-based company was awarded the contract to build the Meter unit, which will be equipped with a 500 kW solar panel.
The US and India also signed an agreement to work together on a maritime measurement station, the Indian Naval Research Laboratory, for a period of five years.