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13 June 2002

MBARI and Satlantic offer new
 in situ nutrient analyzer

MOSS LANDING, California—The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and Satlantic, Inc. of Halifax, Nova Scotia announced their joint efforts to commercialize and market a novel nutrient analyzer, the In Situ Ultraviolet Spectrophotometer (ISUS). The ISUS instrument was developed at MBARI by Dr. Kenneth Johnson and Luke Coletti as a unique submersible chemical analysis system that optically detects nitrate concentrations without reagents or laboratory testing. Nitrate detection is especially critical to the understanding of primary production and carbon dioxide uptake. ISUS is effective for long-term monitoring of remote marine environments, as well as for nitrate pollution and salinity measurements.

MBARI’s ISUS has been successfully utilized in a number of oceanographic studies, including large-scale experiments such as the 2002 Southern Ocean Iron Experiment (SOFeX), which involved 76 scientists from 17 different institutions. This instrument can be deployed on towed, undulating vehicles, water column profilers, remotely operated vehicles, and for long-term deployments on deep-sea moorings.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute is a private non-profit oceanographic center with a mission of teaming scientists and engineers to develop better instruments, systems, and methods for ocean science and technology. MBARI is developing genetic probes, sampling devices, autonomous underwater vehicles, and specialized ocean instrumentation for long-term measurements. "Alliances such as the one we have formed with Satlantic are a key component of MBARI's strategy for making our advances in marine technology widely available to the oceanographic community," said Marcia McNutt, MBARI President and CEO. "We envision significant scientific breakthroughs in understanding biogeochemical cycles in remote environments, as well as improved monitoring of pollution in coastal zones, by getting this instrument into the hands of a large number of creative researchers."

Founded in 1991, Satlantic produces instruments used by oceanographers around the globe in areas such as bio-optics, water quality monitoring and aquaculture surveillance. Satlantic’s core competencies are in optical instrument design and digital signal processing. "We have a long track record of successful commercialization of science, and we will continue to aggressively fund development of new optical devices based on leading research. Our relationship with MBARI is a perfect match with our strategy of bringing to market high quality, innovative instruments that will advance our knowledge of the marine environment," said Marlon Lewis, CEO of Satlantic.

Development of ISUS was supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation through MBARI and the National Science Foundation.


Satlantic contact: Jennie King,, 902-492-4780

MBARI contact: Debbie Meyer,, 831-775-1807