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Instrument Design:

CISME consists of a buoyant acrylic, pressure resistant housing containing the electronics, connected by waterproof cables to the incubation flow-sensor head that is attached by the user to the coral/substrate surface in order to conduct an incubation. 

Electronics Housing: Electronics components are contained in a pressure resistant acrylic housing (80m depth) connected by waterproof cables to the incubation flow-sensor 'head'. 

Incubation Head: Housing the sensors, pump, LED light source, the head is attached by the user to the coral/substrate surface with special retractors. 

Instrument Operation: CISME is operated with a proprietary Android app on a submersible Android tablet (not included) connected to the CISME by a WiFi cable.

Diver Portability: Instrument and underwater tablet together are ca. 5-7 lbs negative UW.



What does CISME measure?

Oxygen fluxes and changes in pH during in situ incubations in which water flow and light levels are user controlled. From changes in concentration, we calculate respiration rate and photosynthesis rate. A sample loop provides a water sample that can be titrated for total alkalinity (TA) from which calcification rate is calculated. The sample loop can also be used to conduct experiments in which the user introduces substances that might affect coral metabolism (such as acidified seawater for OA studies).

Screenshots of Android app


Home screen


Utilities menu


Experiment Menu


Real-time data graph produced

during a respiration/photosynthesis run

Instrument Specifications:

  • Measures O2 with Presens® optode and pH with

  • Honeywell DuraFet® electrode at 1 sec interval

  • Recirculating incubation volumes produced by closed cell foam seal that traps seawater within CISME against low relief surfaces: corals, reef substrates such as turf and coralline algae, settlement plates. 

  • Non-destructive sampling for massive corals with low rugosity surfaces. Branching corals require sampling.

  • Programmable flow from 350 to 1200 ml min-1; rpm feedback from pump

  • Programmable Light levels (PAR): 0 – 2500 μmol m-2 s-1

  • Programmable incubation routines (R, P, R+P, P+R, Custom multistep); P vs I curves can be pre-programmed

  • Removable sample loop volume used to collect incubation water subsamples or introduce additives

  • Incubation volume: 71 ml with no sample loop; 88 ml with a 16 ml sample loop; 120 ml with flow cup

  • Optional sample cup for use with coral fragments, algae, small invertebrates and other detached organisms, and core tube adaptor for use with in situ sediments.

  • Designed to maximize data collection by divers: short incubations of 5 to 60 minutes duration, depending on organism and desired measurements; calcification takes longer than just respiration and photosynthesis.

  • High capacity external battery power allows up to 8 hours of use before recharging.

  • An underwater Android tablets is required for operation.

  • Two options are available.

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