NUS Enterprise

Real-time water sensing device for field measurement

Technology #11113-a

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Dr Chee-Loon (Kelvin) Ng
Prof. Harold F. Hemond
Managed By
Mr Ma Mun Thoh (
Senior Associate Director (65)65166506
Patent Protection

PCT Patent Application WO 2012/144955

US Patent Pending US-2014-0103224-A1

Patent or Other Protection
Files and Attachments
Tech_offer_LEDIF.pdf [PDF]

Market Opportunity

Growing concern over safety and security, need for water management to control limited water resources, regulations, and advancement in sensor technologies are driving the growth of the water quality sensor market. Emerging pollutants further drive the need for innovative sensors to detect the contaminants rapidly. The key trends in water quality sensor market are calling for reliable, on-line, portable sensors for on-site monitoring, reagent-free sensors for cost effectiveness and sensors capable of real-time data transfer [Frost and Sullivan]. These are some key features offered by the current sensing device.  We seek licensee, collaborator and/or strategic engineering partner to bring this technology into the USA market.


This invention is related to a standalone 3-in-1 optical sensing device. The device is capable of characterizing up to 3 different optical responses (fluorescence, absorbance and turbidity) of a fluid sample without need for changing/swapping of parts. It provides one of the most comprehensive ranges of optical measurements, enabling robust identification and quantification of wide arrays of water contaminants and natural substances. This field deployable device is rugged and portable. It is designed for on-site measurements. Incorporated with specially designed flow cell, it can be deployed onboard autonomous surface or underwater vehicles, manned vehicle, buoys, and fixed location access point for continuous monitoring.

Figure:  Sample packagings of the sensing device.   

Stage of Development

Prototyped and laboratory/field tested. 


Water monitoring and sensing. Key applications areas include environmental sensing, pollution monitoring, as well as industrial and wastewater management.  Suitable for both laboratory and on-site applications. 

Examples of chemical species that can be detected include

-  Chlorophyll-a (algae / phytoplankton bio-mass)

-  Dissolve Organic Matters (origination of water mass, humic is correlated to dinoflagellates blooming)

-  Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (detection of oil spills)

-  Tracers such as Fluorescein and Rhodamine (water tracing)

-  Turbidity (suspended particles)

-  Detergents (drainage system)

-  Selected species of semi-volatile compounds


A standalone, highly compact water measuring device that offers real-time continuous sensing equipped with three optical measurements that target wide range of chemical species in fresh water and marine environments. The device can be deployed onboard different host platforms, or used as a portable or a fixed location systems for on-site monitoring to provide finger printing of the chemical species presence in the water (via fluorescence and/or absorbance signals generated by the different chemicals) and suspended particles measurement. Such functionalities enable the assessment of temporal trends and spatial patterns of large water bodies in the form of 3D chemical mapping or sentinel system wide view of water chemistry in a manpower efficient manner. These information provide an early warning to allow water management authority to take timely corrective actions.


Patent granted in the Singapore, China, and USA. Available for licensing in USA.


Water monitoring, low cost, real time, early prediction of algal blooms

ILO Reference:

11113S-CE, 11221S-CE, 11131S-CE

Technology Readiness Level

Singapore patent licensed to a spin-off. Product on sales.

Principal Inventor

Dr Chee-Loon (Kelvin) Ng, Prof. Harold F. Hemond

License Price (if you are charging a fixed one-time/ monthly/ annual fee)

Get in touch with the Technology Manager

Ma Mun Thoh


Phone: +65-65166506