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The challenge

Manual monitoring of groundwater

Meeting strict reporting requirements for groundwater management around mine sites requires routine water sampling and analysis.

The manual sampling process is labour intensive and typically takes two operators a month to complete, with analysis adding further delay as it can take days to weeks before the results are known.

Existing sensors cannot be embedded long term for continuous chemical measurement, because they are too fragile, unstable and require frequent removal for calibration.

Our response

A revolutionary automated sensor solution

We developed Vesi™, an end-to-end sensor, hardware and software solution incorporating patented solid-state sensors for measuring multiple chemical properties in embedded aqueous applications.

Group of five researcher in high vis clothing stadning against red dirt landscape
CSIRO team at Heathgate Resources where sensors have been deployed for a 12-month trial

Vesi™ is a robust multi-sensor system capable of simultaneously collecting data on pH, reduction potential, temperature and conductivity. It can also be fitted with third party sensor equipment.

It provides real-time measurements without ongoing calibration and can operate in highly acidic environments, up to 40°C and in either liquid or wet material.

The in-situ system uses a customised solar-powered solution for off-grid operation and can be combined with existing operational systems.

Continuous data streams are transmitted in real-time via an internet connection, giving the end user the ability to retrieve and analyse data remotely, and minimise any lag time between measurement and corrective action.

The results

Trialled and tested for groundwater management

Vesi™ has been successfully trialled at Heathgate Resources' Four Mile West mine in South Australia, which regularly experiences conditions ranging from sub-zero nights to near 50°C temperatures during the day.

The robust sensor units were embedded in groundwater wells, testing components in the field and validating the automated collection of data with Vesi™ against data from manual surveillance.

Results from the trial show tha tVesi™ can provide real-time, continuous measurements in harsh environments for periods of 12 months or more.

Field testing of Vesi™ was sponsored by Heathgate Resources, NERA (National Energy Resources Australia) and Boss Resources.

Vesi™ is now looking for partners to bring the technology to market.

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