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ICOS OTC pCO₂ instrument inter-comparison @ Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) in Ostend, Belgium

In recent years, new technologies have been evolving with a whole new generation of sensors and instruments measuring pCO₂ in both the ocean surface and sub-surface entering the market.  These include «classical» equilibrator based systems with new CO₂ detectors to membrane based sensors that can be submerged.

The aim of this exercise is

  • to compare the performance of instruments and sensors that are (or will be) used within the ICOS community over a range of temperatures and pCO₂ levels.
  • to engage instrument suppliers and manufacturers to work together with the observational community to reach a high level of standardization in operating pCO₂ sensors and instruments.
  • to give answers to the community of choosing the appropriate sensor for their application.


SubCtech @ICOS OTC pCO₂ instrument inter-comparison 

We were part of ICOS 2021 with 3 pCO₂ systems:

  • OceanPack™ RACE® (see below)
  • 2x OceanPack™ CUBE® (see on top)


The inter-comparison ran for 2 weeks – we had daily data discussions to give the chance for adjustments. Soon, the results will be published in an ESSD.

28 systems (19 different types) were present, systems were operated with sea water at different temperature (5 to 30°C) and pCO₂ (200-800 µatm) levels over two weeks.

Data was processed on a daily base to identify problems and to compare data reduction routines on the daily data meetings.

Thanks to the people on site and in the background who made this event possible and who tirelessly took care of our systems and data!

Preliminary data of ICOS inter-comparision (brown, green and red + sign are measured data from SubCtech instruments):

Thanos Gkritzalis – Marine technician ICOS @VLIZ – behind the scenes video:

ICOS @VLIZ – behind the scenes: dismantling the OceanPack™ CUBE® in seconds: