Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

Waterproof optical probe with continuous and automatic register for nitrate concentration control of water resources (superficial and groundwater).

Posted by Universidad de Alcalá-OTRIResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

Currently, nitrate concentration measurement can be done by using different techniques (spectrofotometric analysis, ion selective electrode, colorimetric and chromatographic liquid) by taking a sample from the environment and in a non continuous way. The solution allows the study of the sample in situ and in a continuous way by comparing it with the spectral response of some samples of known nitrate concentration (patterns). These are obtained previously in the laboratory and are essential for the calibration of the probe.

Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

Description of the technology

A joint research group of the departments of Geology and Signal Theory and Communications of a Spanish university have developed a probe based on a light source, an optical analyzer with optical fibber connections and a waterproof sensor. This is suitable for measuring nitrate concentration in water (superficial and groundwater) The system works using spectral techniques in the ultraviolet wavelength range. The group is looking for commercial agreement with technical assistance.


The main steps in order to measure nitrate concentration in superficial water and groundwater using this spectral techniques in the ultraviolet begin with the obtain the spectral response from the analyzer when immersing the sensor into the water. The computer has some nitrate concentration patters to be compared with the spectral response. An evolutionary programming algorithm is used to decide the best suitable pattern. The best pattern determines the nitrate concentration of the measured water. This system has the following main parts: - Light source made of deuterium-halogen suitable for wavelengths from 200 to 800 nm (ultraviolet and visible). - Optical analyzer suitable for the above mentioned wavelength range. - Fibber optic cable (diameter 400 micron) - Waterproof optical sensor using lenses for light guiding. - Evolutionary programming algorithm for analyzing the optical analyzer response. - Computer.

Main advantages of its use

  • With the designed probe, it is possible to determine in an automatic and continuous way the nitrate concentration in water as it is established by 2000/60/UE and 2006/118/CE directives.


  • Companies specialized in the development of sensors

Additional information (attached documents)

Additional information (attached documents)

Related keywords

  • Industrial Technologies
  • Physical Sciences and Exact Sciences
  • Protecting Man and Environment
  • Water treatment equipment and waste disposal systems
  • waterproof optical probe
  • nitrate concentration control
  • water resources
  • groundwater
  • Water
  • hidrology

About Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

Research & Technology Organization from Spain

The Technology Transfer Office at Alcalá University serves as a liaison between the University and its socioeconomic environment in terms of research and innovation. It encorages collaboration between research groups from universities and companies/institutions, with the objective to promote and commercialize research results and scientific capabilities.

Some of the services offered by this office are specified in the following list:

- Promotion of R & D and improvement of the relationships with companies.
- Promote the participation in R & D projects applicants to public calls (regional, national and European).
- Advising, processing and monitoring of patents and other forms of industrial protection.
- Support in the negotiation of contracts and agreements for R&D&i

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