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SeaOWL UV-A™ (Sea Oil-in-Water™ Locator)

Based upon the highly successful Sea-Bird Scientific ECO sensor, Sea-Bird Scientific has developed an industry leading detection technology creating a 5X optical resolution improvement over its predecessor.

Sea-Bird Scientific introduces SeaOWL UV-ATM, a new in-situ oil-in-water sensor.  Based-upon the highly successful Sea-Bird Scientific ECO sensor, Sea-Bird Scientific has developed an industry-leading oil-detection technology with 5X optical resolution improvement over its predecessor. 

SeaOWL UV-ATM measures crude oil-in-water using the same UV-A excitation and blue emission wavelengths (370 nm EX/ 460 nm EM) currently used in the ECO CDOM fluorometer. The SeaOWL UV-ATM improves the resolution and range of the ECO with a greater depth of field, optimized electronics and dynamic gain stage modulation.  The new dynamic gain provides industry leading sensitivity across a large detection range making saturation unlikely in even the most heavily impacted environments. The compact SeaOWL UV-ATM design also includes chlorophyll fluorescence and 700 nm backscattering measurements to discriminate crude oil from phytoplankton and other natural sources of FDOM.


  • Industry leading optical resolution
  • Wide dynamic gain prevents measurement saturation even within heavily impacted environments
  • Three parameters in a single sensor: chlorophyll, backscattering, and Fluorescent Dissolved Organic Matter (FDOM)
  • Backscattering and chlorophyll fluorescence provide discrimination of crude oil from phytoplankton and other natural sources of FDOM


Backscattering wavelength 700 nm
     Backscattering sensitivity 700 nm1 1E-06 m-1 sr -1
     Backscattering range700 nm1 0–0.04 m-1 sr -1
Chlorophyll EX/EM 470/690 nm
     Chlorophyll sensitivity 0.005 µg/l
     Chlorophyll range 0.005–250 µg/l
FDOM EX/EM 370/460 nm
     FDOM sensitivity 0.03 ppb QSDE
     FDOM range 0.03–900 ppb QSDE
Oil Calibration  
     Oil limit of detection3 < 80ppb crude oil
     Oil sensitivity4 3 ppb crude oil



Temperature range of calibration 3 -2 to 38 °C
Storage temperature range -20 to 50 °C
Depth rating 2000 m



Diameter 56.6 mm (2.23 in)
Length 54.6 mm (2.15 in)
Weight in air (approx.) 340 g
Displacement 137 ml
Pressure housing material Titanium 6Al-4V



Digital output resolution 14 bit
Communication RS-232
Sample rate 1 Hz
Connector style MCBH(WB)-6MP
Input voltage 7–15 volts
Current, typical (@7V) 81 mA


1) Backscattering specifications are derived from a vicarious calibration with a MCOMS backscattering sensor. Scale factors for backscattering incorporate the target weighting function and the solid angle subtended for the MCOMS optical backscattering sensor. The SeaOWL UV-ATM is highly linear in response to changes in the particle concentration of a specific particle population.

2) The temperature range through which the instruments are tested for operation. The -2° C minimum covers all natural waters on Earth. Please contact Sea-Bird Scientific for testing to higher temperatures.

3) The estimated limit of detection (LOD) for the ECO CDOM fluorometer is <300 ppb cruide oil (Conmy et al., 2014), i.e. 30 counts.  Using the same count to LOD relationship, LOD for SeaOWL UV-A was derived.

4) Applying the ECO CDOM fluorometer crude oil calibration from Conmy et al., 2014, yields this scale factor.

The list below includes (as applicable) the current product brochure, manual, and quick guide; software manual(s); and application notes.