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Buoyant Fluorescent Particles as a Novel Sensing Technology for Field Observations of Water Flows

[+] Author Affiliations
Flavia Tauro, Matteo Aureli, Maurizio Porfiri

Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Brooklyn, NY

Salvatore Grimaldi

Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Brooklyn, NY; University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy

Paper No. DSCC2011-5963, pp. 137-144; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference and Bath/ASME Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control
  • ASME 2011 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference and Bath/ASME Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control, Volume 2
  • Arlington, Virginia, USA, October 31–November 2, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5476-1
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


In this paper, we investigate the feasibility of off-the-shelf buoyant fluorescent microspheres as particle tracers in turbid water flows. Microspheres’ fluorescence intensity is experimentally measured and detected in static aqueous suspensions of increasing concentrations of clay to simulate typical conditions of natural drainage networks. We conduct experiments by using photoconductive cells and image-based sensing methods. Results obtained with both approaches exhibit comparable trends and show that the considered particles are detectable in critically turbid water flows. Further information on the performance and integration of such microspheres in low-cost measurement instrumentations for field observations is obtained through experiments on a custom built water channel. Findings from this study show that the proposed technology may serve as a minimally invasive sensing system for hazardous events, such as pollutant diffusion in natural streams and flash flooding due to extreme rainfall.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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