Precision Spatiotemporal Water Sampling Autonomous Platform and Environmental Monitoring and Analysis System

  • Tim Johnson

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMPhil


In an age where environmental concerns have become a common conversational topic, many freshwater sources still remain under-sampled and under-profiled both spatially and temporally, with respect to biological and chemical pollution. To this end, autonomous surface vehicles are excellent tools for the remote and autonomous monitoring of pollutants. The first objective of this study was to demonstrate how water sensors can be integrated onto an autonomous surface vehicle. This was accomplished by the mounting of a silicon (digital) temperature sensor onto a vehicle and programming the vehicle to conduct autonomous temperature measurements of the campus lake
at the University of Bath. The second objective of this study was to develop
a low-cost and portable heavy metals sensor. An inexpensive and compact
PCB (printed circuit board) potentiostat was designed and pencil graphite
electrodes were used for the determination of Zn2+ via differential pulse anodic stripping voltammetry (DPASV). This objective was partially satisfied;
while the sensor and potentiostat were capable of measuring Zn2+ concentrations as low as 0.11g L−1, conventional lab-based measurement techniques are able to measure concentrations of approximately 800μg L−1 (parts-per-billion range) and lower. While the designed sensor proved promising, further testing needs to be done using other types of electrodes in order to make accurate comparisons with the performance of conventional lab-based methods.
Date of Award22 Jun 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPeter Wilson (Supervisor) & Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern (Supervisor)

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