Mobile Flow cytometer
A flow cytometer is a device for rapidly counting and sorting single-celled microbes of specific types and sizes. By shining specially tuned lasers on the cells, the cytometer can separate different types of cells and allow scientists to count those that contain certain pigments or other optically active compounds.
The integration of cytometers with autonomous surface and underwater vehicles can facilitate a more thorough understanding of ocean plankton types and their spatiotemporal distribution. This paper reviews existing and emerging cytometers that could potentially be integrated, with an eye toward constraints and capabilities. Vehicles have payload size and power constraints that must be considered when evaluating instrument designs for payload integration. The candidate cytometer capabilities, including dynamic range for particle-size detection, must also be taken into account to accomplish mission goals.