Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Environmental Sample Processor
The Second Generation ESP


Scott Jensen

Scott Jensen, Project Manager, tests and refines operations of the 2G core in the lab.

Second generation: 2G ESP

With support from the National Science Foundation, MBARI has developed the second generation—the 2G ESP. The new instrument has a modular core system that can be re-configured and modified to suit a wide variety of deployment and analysis requirements. The 2G ESP is built on the same functional concepts as the original ESP, but it is easier to service, has lower power requirements, and is more compact, robust, and user-friendly.

2G ESP system architecture

The three major components of the new system are:

Core ESP

  • Provides housing, power, fluids (pre-processed samples, reagents, etc.), and data/control communications
  • Suitable for collecting small to moderate sized samples (from milliliters to 2 liters)
  • Automates sample processing, archival and real-time probe array analyses (SHA and competitive ELISA—all in situ)

The core ESP is what is seen in the photo above. This is where the analytic work of the "DNA laboratory" takes place.

External sampling modules

  • Meets specialized sampling requirements posed by deep-water environments.
  • Provides for large sample volume concentration (up to 2 liters.).

Analytical modules

  • Custom analytical devices fitted to the core ESP, but accessed as a separate modular subsystem
  • Require upstream sample collection and processing




Surface-ocean deployments (less than 50 meters deep) were carried out in Monterey Bay in spring of 2006.

Last updated: Feb. 04, 2009