Technology Transfer SSC Pacific
Water Quality Profiling System and Autonomous Sensor Buoy

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Individually or combined, these technologies can be configured for a multitude of applications and are ideal for any type of water monitoring task.

The U.S. Navy seeks to commercialize U.S. Patents 7,559,236 (Portable profiler for profiling a marine biosphere and method of assembling the profiler) and 7,690,247 (Autonomous biobuoy for detecting a characteristic of a marine biosphere and method of assembling the biobuoy).


Few studies have attempted to measure the changes in fresh, coastal, and oceanic water quality over any appreciable amount of time due to instrument and platform limitations, and overall cost. SSC Pacific’s Water Quality Profiling System and Autonomous Sensor Buoy overcome these limitations, enabling more efficient long-term water quality monitoring and profiling. They also address the current market problems:

  • Non-autonomous methods require ship support
  • Current technologies are large and expensive to manufacture
  • Deployment of instruments is complex and requires multiple people
  • AC power source vs. mobile, small, rechargeable battery or solar
  • Current optical instruments require frequent cleaning due to time in water
  • The Technology

    The Water Quality Profiling System is the first portable system for measuring bioluminescence, seawater clarity, salinity, and temperature all at the same time. Sensors are lowered into the water using a predetermined length of cable. Data are electronically transmitted back to the user. Depending on the profiling depth, the entire process can take as little as 1 to 2 minutes. The system can be deployed from helicopter, boat, autonomous buoy, and other platforms, and can also be configured to collect and transmit data on a predetermined schedule.

    SSC Pacific’s Autonomous Sensor Buoy is a variation of the Water Quality Profiling System technology in which an adjustable buoyancy sensor package descends and ascends on a predetermined schedule to profile the water. The buoy’s rugged design allows it to be tethered or left to drift in the roughest of conditions. It can be configured to use solar power and utilizes self-cleaning optics.

    Key Benefits

  • Provide autonomous, automated data collection
  • Measures four or more variables simultaneously in less than 2 minutes
  • Cheaper to make and use, and much smaller than competing technologies
  • Simple to deploy, as well as start and stop data collection via remote control
  • Uses rechargeable batteries or solar power
  • Clean optics due to time in the water and self-cleaning configuration
  • Development Status

  • U.S. Patents issued: 7,559,236, 7,690,247
  • Total R&D: $2.4M and 7 years
  • DoD 5000 Series Technical Readiness Level 9: Actual system proven through successful mission operations
  • For more information on technology transfer, please contact us at (619) 5535118 or email
    SD 690, March 2011. SSC Pacific, San Diego, CA 921525001. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

    SSC Pacific
    Updated: 10/25/2011 10:41 AM EST   Published