Ascension Collects Microplastics, eDNA Data
Ocean Diagnostics has developed Ascension to simplify the ocean microplastics and environmental DNA (eDNA) data collection processes. Designed to overcome the challenges of sampling at depth, it is a 22-lb. tethered sampling device that collects filtered microplastics or eDNA samples down to 400 m, from the side of a small vessel or fixed installation, without the need for heavy and expensive deployment equipment.
Suitable for marine and freshwater environments, Ascension is equipped with seven discrete filter housings, each containing a 47-mm-diameter filter for direct in-situ filtration. Designed with an innovative pinch valve system, Ascension pulls water through filters, rather than pushes, which allows samples to be collected efficiently while avoiding external contamination.
The included 200-m communication tether used to lower the instrument into the water connects to a Windows software interface via high-speed Bluetooth so users can view and control sample valves, filtration rates, CTD data and battery status in real time. It can also be configured for automated deployments to sample and collect data at specific time points or sampling frequencies.
With a full CTD sensor, Ascension simultaneously measures depth, temperature, salinity, flow rates and total volume filtered in real time to collect highly targeted samples using an intuitive interface. The instrument’s 266-watt-hour battery pack is easily recharged with a plug-in charger via a removeable SubConn connector on the instrument.