Team DuraFET Named as Finalist for Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE

Team DuraFET, with support from Honeywell Aerospace Advanced Technology group, has been named a finalist for the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, a global competition to create pH sensor technology that will accurately measure ocean acidification.

For the next phase of the competition, teams will board the R/V Kilo Moana, a U.S. Navy research vessel operated through the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System and the University of Hawaii Marine Center beginning May 14 in Honolulu. The participants will embark on a week-long deep sea trial to assess ocean pH values throughout the water column at Station ALOHA, a 110 square mile region in the Pacific Ocean, located approximately 100 miles off the northern shore of Oahu. Sensors will be put through rigorous performance tests focused on stability and precision, while battling real-world pressure scenarios and depths of up to 3,000 meters.

The five Wendy Schmidt XPRIZE finalist teams representing four countries are:

  • Team DuraFET (Plymouth, Minn., U.S.), a team comprised of representatives from Sea-Bird Scientific, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego and Honeywell Aerospace Advanced Technology group.
  • ANB Sensors (Cambridge, England), a team of scientists and researchers from the Schlumberger Gould Research Center with expertise in lasers, chemistry, fluid mechanics and geophysics.
  • HpHS (Yokosuka, Japan), a team of research scientists and engineers from the Kimoto Electric Co., Ltd. and Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.
  • Sunburst Sensors (Missoula, Mont., U.S.), a team of mechanical engineers from Sunburst Sensors, LLC, a company focused on the development of chemical sensors for marine and freshwater applications.
  • Team XYLEM (Bergen, Norway/Beverly, Mass., U.S.), a team representing two Xylem companies, Aanderaa Data Instruments in Norway and YSI in the U.S., with extensive work in commercializing high performance and reliable optical chemical sensors used in oceanography.

These teams have successfully put their sensors through a three-month test in controlled laboratory conditions at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute followed by a month-long performance test in a coastal environment at the Seattle Aquarium.

Teams participating in the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE may compete for two available prize awards: the $1M accuracy award, based on performance, and the $1M affordability award, based on cost and usability. The winners of the competition are scheduled to be announced in July 2015.

To learn more about the Wendy Schmidt XPRIZE competition and Team DuraFET's sensors, read the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's article here.

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