The Programmable Hyperspectral Seawater Scanner (PHYSS) is a next-generation marine spectrophotometer that is currently under development by the Ocean Technology Group at Mote Marine Research Laboratory. The PHYSS is based on an earlier device, the Optical Phytoplankton Discriminator (OPD). Like the OPD, the PHYSS performs automated sampling and analysis of seawater in order to detect the presence of various pigments associated with harmful algae blooms, such as Karenia Brevis. Unlike the OPD, the PHYSS can be programmed by users, allowing far greater flexibility in both the sampling procedure and the analysis of the resulting data. In addition, it supports an extended hardware configuration, which allows two chemical reagents to be mixed with seawater samples prior to optical spectrum acquisition.
OTG is currently operating two PHYSS units in the field, one at the New Pass dock adjacent to Mote's Sarasota research facility and a second on a channel marker just south of Sanibel Island. Data from these two units is automatically transferred to a cloud-resident data server and viewed through a data analysis console. For more information on the PHYSS and how to use the data analysis console, see Using the PHYSS Data Analysis Console. The console can be accessed at coolcloud.org/data.