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29 October 2019 News Release

A new groundwater sensor system developed by Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, will make environmental monitoring faster, more reliable and less labour intensive for the resources industry.

[An animation image appears of a diagram of a SENSEI® sensor system showing a sensor panel above the ground and connected through a line moving down under the ground inside a casing and text appears: SENSEI®, Groundwater]

Narrator: SENSEI® is a state of the art automated solution for groundwater monitoring in real time.

[Camera zooms in on a point within the casing and text labels appear: Robust acid-resistant casing with embedded electric components, pH, ORP, reference, 3rd party sensor, Modbus serial communications cabling, Multiple sensor packs can be daisy-chained]

Its patented sensor system delivers accurate real time data from multiple chemical and physical sensor inputs.

[Animation image changes to show the sensor panel above the ground and the casing below the ground and text appears: Sensor system, Automated real-time monitoring, Minimal maintenance, Reducing time & costs]

The solid state sensors featuring our revolutionary sensor materials are embedded within the environment and require no regular manual readings and minimal maintenance reducing time and cost.

[Music plays and the camera zooms out to show the sensor system with the sensor panel above the ground and the casing below the ground and symbols of a thermometer, ORP, ph. and pressure appear around the sensor panel]

Inside a robust casing the multi-sensor array delivers simultaneous measurements of pH, ORP, conductivity, temperature, pressure and more.

[Animation image shows data lines moving out from the sensor panel to two clouds moving above the sensor system and then the camera zooms in on the cloud showing arrows pointing in and out] Data is then transmitted in real time and held in Cloud storage to be retrieved and analysed remotely.

[Animation image changes to show data on a laptop and then the camera zooms in on various graphs]

The SENSEI® visualisation tools presents your data simply and clearly for various uses and stakeholders.

[Animation image changes to show a mobile tower sending out data lines and then the animation image changes to show a tablet, a Smartphone, a computer screen and a laptop in a row]

The continuous data stream delivers alerts and information, ensuring the right information and the right format at the right time.

[Camera zooms in on the computer screen and a tick appears on the screen]

The early alert system reduces delayed reaction and escalation risk.

[Animation image shows symbols of a pick hitting a rock, a water pipe, and test tubes in a stand on the computer screen]

SENSEI® is optimised for use by mineral resources, the mining industry and water utilities and industrial water and chemical processing businesses.

[Animation image changes to show trees, rocks and shrubs in a line beneath a sun and cloud]

SENSEI® is an example of how CSIRO is improving environmental monitoring and resource performance through innovative science and technology.

[Image changes to show the CSIRO logo and text appears: Australia’s innovation catalyst]

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SENSEI is an advanced in-situ sensor system that gives mining operators and water managers real-time data to monitor and manage groundwater impacts efficiently and faster than ever before.

Replacing labour-intensive manual monitoring techniques, SENSEI is a multi-sensor system capable of simultaneously collecting data on pH, reduction potential, temperature and conductivity.

CSIRO Research Leader, Dr Kathie McGregor, said the SENSEI system offers a revolutionary solution to groundwater monitoring methods currently used.

"SENSEI is an automated system which delivers reliable groundwater data in real time saving companies time and money on labour from traditional manual monitoring approaches," Dr McGregor said.

The solid-state multi-sensor array features CSIRO's patented pH sensor and reference electrode innovation based on advanced sensor chemistry and materials.

The robust sensor unit can be embedded into groundwater wells and aquifers and deliver continuous data for months without the need for manual calibration or maintenance.

Third-party sensors can also be integrated into the systems attached to the solid-state multi-sensor array.

With real-time analytical capability, SENSEI can provide early alerts so companies can mitigate environmental issues arising in groundwater management.

"Because data can be accessed immediately on-site or remotely via the cloud, the user has the ability to detect any anomalies quickly and take action as soon as possible," Dr McGregor said.

SENSEI has been built to withstand extreme environments and has already been successfully trialled at Heathgate Resources' Four Mile West mine in South Australia.

"We've been able to test SENSEI's performance in a real-world setting and are pleased to report the system is still operational after almost 12 months of testing in the field," Dr McGregor said.

SENSEI has been designed and tested for use in groundwater monitoring but could be adapted for other applications which need chemical and physical monitoring in extreme environments.

SENSEI helps solve challenges associated with environmental monitoring and resource performance through innovative science and technology.

CSIRO is now looking for partners to bring the technology to market.

A prototype unit will be on display at the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne this week.

As of July 2020, SENSEI technology has been re-named and is now known as Vesi™.
Vesi is a Finnish word for water, reflecting the cultural heritage of one of the team members developing the technology and its application.


SENSEI is an autonomous off-grid system which delivers continuous data streams from remote locations. Powered by a solar panel, the data is transmitted via an internet connection direct from the source and into the digital cloud, giving user the ability to access and analyse the information on-site or from farther afield.
Vesi is an advanced in-situ sensor system that gives mining operators and water managers real-time data to monitor and manage groundwater impacts efficiently and faster than ever before. ©  Nick Pitsas
SENSEI’s multi-sensor array can be embedded long-term within groundwater wells and aquifers and has been shown to deliver continual data for 12 months.

B-roll video

SENSEI automated groundwater monitoring video

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