CytoBuoy: the floating measuring station

A powerful multiparametric data buoy, accommodating sensors and instruments

A powerful multiparametric data buoy, accommodating sensors and instruments

  • for comprehensive high-frequency and real-time near surface observations in-situ
  • in reservoirs, lakes, lagoons, estuaria and coastal waters.
  • to fill observational gaps in under-sampled areas in a flexible and cost efficient way.
  • accommodating physical/chemical/meteo/wave sensors as well as a scanning & imaging particle/cell analyzer (CytoSense) and/or a FRRF device.  

Instead of sensing averages with bulk methods the CytoBuoy is looking at the single cell level also!

“Whereas conventional observables are bulk optical or physical water properties, all life processes act at the individual cell level” (Platt, 1989).

By its unique payload holding design, the Cyto-Data-Buoy provides:

  • an efficient method to obtain high definition high frequency data from advanced instruments (microscopy level) from remote in-situ location.
  • an easily transportable observation station deployable at various projects
  • accommodation of a variety of sensors and instruments of your choice

CytoBuoy offers new possibilities for a wide range of applications:

  • operational oceanography monitoring
  • coastal observing networks
  • lake and river in-situ monitoring
  • aquatics and ecosystem bio-engineering control
  • early warning for sensitive ecosystems, aquaculture & farming, drinking source water protection.


For example:

  • study of physical forcing and ecosystem dynamics: fluxes and balance, primary production, eutrophication and algal blooms, important for economic and recreational activities
  • get physical/chemical/meteo/wave plus biology data from a remote site
  • get high frequency microscopical analysis of water in a remote location with the CytoBuoy.  No financial and logistic nightmare of taking samples to the lab.  Identification to species/genus level with high resolution imaging-in-flow, as well as biovolume and photosynthesis information.
  • detect and identify harmful algal blooms (HAB’s) like cyanobacterial blooms and notice emerging species before they start blooming (impossible by bulk-optical sensors). Detecting picoplankton, nanoplankton, microplankton, both phytoplankton & zooplankton.
  • study sediment transport with direct detection of suspended particulate matter (instead of FTU), from smallest to large mineral particles, aggregates and flocs, separate analysis of phytoplankton abundance and composition.
  • link with observations from satellites: Cyto-Data is the most versatile and always-available ground/sea truth data for validation and interpretation of remote sensing products (alagal blooms, suspended particulate matter, water column light attenuation and chlorophyll concentration, phytoplankton composition).

Key specifications

Optimal float size

A big (2.25×0.6) unsinkeable foam ring with large central instrument frame provides more than 1000 kg floating capacity. Flat surface for easy access. Allows road transportation.

Super float safety

Offers maximum protection of the precious submerged instruments instrument(s) from mechanical impacts (ship collision, waves) and vandalism/theft.

Large instrument Space

Smaller sensors mount on the anchor frame, which holds a large easily accessible central instrument frame offering 4 slots for submerged instruments/packages up to Ø40 x H100cm units each.

Advanced instruments

Designed to hold advanced instruments like the CytoSense (CytoSub version), a submersible FRRF unit, as well as multiparameter sondes, CTD, fluoroprobe, ADCP etc

Easy Serviceable

Flat float surface; the top construction folds open easily to reach the instrument frame – the 4 big units can be easily lifted in/out (locked for theft protection). Adjustable holders for easy mounting.

Large power capacity

The top construction is designed to hold 4 m2 solar panels to support many instruments. It allows deployment in high or low latitudes. A submersible battery provides 172 or 2536Wh

Gigabytes telemetry

Enables wireless Gigabytes communication over several kilometres.


Contains a radar reflector, marine lantern and 4G or WiFi antenna, 4 m above water level.