Biofouling Control

Photo courtesy of Ocean Networks Canada

When instrumentation is deployed in the water in a stationary position for long periods of time, biofouling will occur. This marine growth causes sensor drift, requiring preventative measures be taken to ensure accurate data. To date, the two most common methods to manage biofouling were mechanical wipers and chemical dosing. Neither is ideal, with the first being unsuitable for sensitive lenses and complex geometries, and the second being harmful to the environment. 

AML’s biofouling control technology uses ultraviolet light to provide a non-toxic, non-contact solution to prevent marine growth.

A biofouling solution unlike any other method currently on the market, UV•Xchange and Cabled UV prevent biofouling during long-term, in-situ deployments. The LED modules bathe critical surfaces in ultraviolet (UV) light, killing early growth to prevent biofouling, and thus eliminating environmental drift in CTDs and multi-parameter instruments, and keeping critical surfaces of subsea devices clean. AML’s biofouling control technology uses ultraviolet light to provide a non-toxic, non-contact solution to prevent marine growth on:
  • Sensors
  • ADCPs
  • Camera lenses
  • Lights
  • Hydrophones
  • Sonar heads
Cabled UV

Over 480 days in situ: AML’s UV•Xchange preventing fouling on sensors during a technology demonstration at Ocean Network Canada’s Folger Pinnacle Observatory. UV•Xchange modules are installed on the left and middle instruments to protect the sensors. The sensors on the instrument on the right are unprotected, and are heavily fouled as a result.

The Data Speaks for Itself

AML CTDs originally deployed in October of 2013 at Ocean Networks Canada’s Folger Pinnacle site performed for over two years without maintenance. With UV•Xchange, long term monitoring can produce data such as in the graph at left. The timelines of ocean observation and environmental monitoring deployments previously limited to weeks or months due to fouling can now be set in years.

What is Biofouling?

Biofouling is the unwanted marine growth that accumulates on stationary, submerged objects.

UV as an Antifoulant

UV light inhibits the development of organic films and early-stage colonizers that initiate the fouling process.

Other Methods of Biofouling Control

The history of biofouling control is filled with compromises and limitations.

Published Material

The (In)fluence of Light

Read about the technology behind UV•Xchange and Cabled UV in the Journal of Ocean Technology

Biofouling Control: It's Time to Think in Years

Read our article about UV•Xchange in Marine Technology Reporter

Any Surface, Foul Free

Read our article on UV•Xchange and biofouling control in ECO

A New Kind of Antifoulant

Read the Feature Story in Ocean News & Technology

Biofouling Foiled

Read our September 2014 article on UV Biofouling Control in Marine Technology Reporter

Biofouling Control Products