NICO - TriOS Mess- und Datentechnik

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Digital, optical photometric InSitu sensor for nitrate with turbidity compensation
Based on the device platform concept of TriOS sensors like OPUS, LISA and VIPER, TriOS introduces NICO: a low-cost UV photometer for the determination of nitrate. The four detection channels enable a pre­cise optical determination of nitrate by absorption, taking into account turbidity and organic substances that pose a problem for many products currently on the market.
An internal temperature correction additionally increases stability of the measured values.
Equipped with our G2 interface with web browser configuration and internal data logger NICO includes features that are much more advanced than those of comparable devices available on the market.
The unified platform of all TriOS photometers also facilitates a standardized spare parts and consumables system, which allows the use of a wide range of accessories for our devices. Furthermore the cutting-edge G2 interface enables quick integration into third-party systems.
Light Source
Xenon flash lamp
4 photo diodes + filter
Measurement principle
Optical path
0,3 mm, 1 mm, 2 mm, 5 mm, 10 mm, 50 mm

NO3-N, NO3, NOx-N, NOx (calibrated with NO3 standard solution)
Measurement range at 1 mm path
0.5...60 mg/L NO3-N
Measurement range at 10 mm path
0.05...6 mg/L NO3-N
Measurement accuracy
± (5 % + 0.1 mg/L NO3-N) with 10 mm path
± (5 % + 1 mg/L NO3-N) with 1 mm path
Turbidity compensation
Data logger
~ 2 GB
T100 response time
20 s
Measurement interval
≥ 10 s

Housing material
Stainless steel (1.4571/1.4404) or titanium (3.7035)
Dimensions (L x Ø)
~ 470 mm x 48 mm (10 mm path)
~ 18.5“  x 1.9“ (with10 mm path)
Weight stainless steel
~ 3 kg
~ 6.6 lbs
Weight titanium
~ 2 kg
~ 4.4 lbs

Interface digital
Ethernet (TCP/IP), RS-485 (Modbus RTU)
Power consumption
≤ 7 W
Power supply
12...24 VDC (± 10 %)

Maintenance effort
≤ 0.5 h/month (typical)
Calibration/maintenance interval
24 months
System compatibility
Modbus RTU
1 year (EU: 2 years)
US: 2 years

Max. pressure with SubConn
30 bar
~ 435 psig
Max. pressure with fixed cable
3 bar
~ 43.5 psig
Max. pressure in FlowCell
1 bar, 2...4 L/min
~ 14.5 psig at 0.5 to 1.0 gpm
Protection type

Sample temperature
+2...+40 °C
~ +36 °F to +104 °F
Ambient temperature
+2...+40 °C
~ +36 °F to +104 °F
Storage temperature
-20...+80 °C
~ -4 °F to +176 °F
Inflow velocity
0,1...10 m/s
~ 0.33 to 33 fps
Nitrate Measurement in Surface Waters
To analyse the suitability of the NICO nitrate sensor in field operation in surface waters a NICO sensor was placed in two different watercourses: James River near Cartersville (Virginia) and Mill Creek at Johnson Drive in Shawnee (Kansas). Both trial installations had the purpose of assessing the NICO performance under differing conditions regarding flow, season (incl. winter with ice cover), nitrate concentration and type of installation.
The NICO sensor evaluation of both research institutes involved was positive throughout.
In conclusion the NICO sensor was found to be reliable and easy to handle. The NICO sensor was operating stable over a range of temperatures and was unaffected by surface ice cover on the water. With only a few explicable exceptions the measurement data correlated well with the daily trends of the reference sensors and lab data. The maintenance requirements proved to be rather low. Similar to the other manufacturer’s sensors, manual cleaning had to be carried out occasionally to remove severe blockage of the optical path by debris and sediment.

You can read the detailed report including all test results here:
Further application descriptions will follow.

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