Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring

Fermentation monitor infrared process control sensor

August 2012 Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring

The VS-3000 sensor system is a state of the art, solid state, inline, infrared sensor that is designed to operate 24x7 without maintenance. No adjustments to the sensor’s physical parts are required. In production, adjustments to the sensor’s product offsets are made if required during the normal production QA/QC operations or when normal concentration reference samples are taken. These adjustments are made through the pushbuttons on the sensor management station or the VS-3000 dashboard software.

Unlike traditional process instruments, the VS-3000 Sensor measures concentrations in fluids directly through the use of mid-infrared detectors. There are no moving parts to service and the sensor operates in flow or no flow conditions. The infrared measurement is not affected by temperature, pressure, density, colour, viscosity or turbidity. The detectors bounce light off the chemical bonds in the fluid and measure the absorption. This measurement is translated by the sensor’s microprocessor and software and displayed for the user or sent as output to the Fieldbus network.

The system is a compact solid state ‘smart’ spectrometer comprised of infrared detectors with optical filters that use reference wavelengths and an active wavelength to monitor the molecular absorption of the substance being measured.

The sensor uses an ATR (attenuated total reflection) crystal. This permits a cumulative increase in absorption resulting in an improvement in signal to noise ratio, which is additive by number of reflections and improves accuracy and resolution. ATR is an ideal sampling technique for inline monitoring because there is no path through air and very rugged optical elements including diamond and sapphire can be used for the sample interface.


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