Sunburst Sensors Wins Both Purses of Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE


Missoula, Mont. (July 22, 2015) - Sunburst Sensors, LLC won first place in both purses of the $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE bringing home $1.5 million. The awards took place on Monday, July 20 at an event hosted by Foreign Affairs in New York City.  Sunburst Sensors entered two devices, both variants on its existing SAMI-pH technology.  The tSAMI entered into the accuracy purse was built to withstand the 3000 meter (1.9 mile) depth requirement in deployments at the Ocean Station ALOHA.  The iSAMI entered into the accuracy purse is a prototype of a forth-coming product meant to be much less expensive for use in shallow deployments.

All five finalists were represented at the gala award ceremony, with ANB Sensors capturing second prize in the affordability purse, and Team Durafet taking second in the accuracy purse. Sunburst Sensors, represented by co-owners James Beck and Michael DeGrandpre, went to the stage twice to collect the first place trophies.

"It's a great honor and a big surprise," said Beck, "We know we make a good sensor, but so do the other finalists," adding that he was extremely proud of his team. "We've achieved something pretty special, especially considering we're such a small company.  My hat is off to everyone at Sunburst Sensors in helping make this happen."

Read more: Sunburst Sensors Wins Both Purses of Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE

Sunburst Sensors Selected to Provide Instruments for OOI Water Measurements

(From OOI website - January 24, 2012 - original article here)

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership, with funding from the National Science Foundation, has selected Sunburst Sensors, LLC, of Missoula, Montana, to provide pH (PHSEN) and Partial Pressure of Carbon Dioxide in Water Instruments (PC02W) for the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI).

Under the $2.5 million contract, Sunburst will provide up to 77 PHSEN and 35 PC02W instruments.

Sunburst Sensors designs and manufactures instruments that measure inorganic carbon parameters pC02, pH and total alkalinity. Sunburst's Submersible Autonomous Moored Instrument (SAMI) measures and logs levels of dissolved chemicals in sea and fresh water.

The SAMI-pH and SAMI-CO2 both use the indicator method for measurement of pH in oceanic waters. Measurement of pH and the amount of dissolved CO2 in seawater are critical to the determination of carbon flux between the ocean and atmosphere, and understanding ecological and climatological effects of ocean acidification.

Read more: Sunburst Sensors Selected to Provide Instruments for OOI Water Measurements

 Missoula company gets $2.5M grant for sensors to study ocean

(From The Missoulian - February 10, 2012 - original story here)

Already bobbing in waters around the globe, the high-tech sensors developed by a Missoula company have now been commissioned to be part of a long-term study on the changing chemical makeup of the world's oceans.

Mike DeGrandpre's groundbreaking advances in analytical chemistry at the University of Montana have landed his company - Sunburst Sensors - a $2.5 million National Science Foundation contract announced Friday.

During the next three years, more than 100 of Sunburst's Submersible Autonomous Moored Instruments, or SAMIs, will be sent into the oceans as part of the 30-year Ocean Observatories Initiative.

The instruments were developed to test and collect in-depth data on pH and carbon dioxide levels in water.

Read more: OOI Selects Sunburst Sensors

Sunburst Sensors Awarded NOAA Phase 2 SBIR Grant

Missoula, MTSeptember 10, 2013—Missoula-based Sunburst Sensors, LLC announced today that its application for funding to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program within the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been selected for a competitive award of nearly $400,000. This Phase II award follows a Phase I award of almost $100,000 received by Sunburst Sensors in 2012.

The company will use these Phase II funds to advance the development of a novel ocean drifter that can measure acidity (pH) and the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) levels of oceans and report these measurements to researchers via satellite telemetry. Sunburst Sensors expects to conclude its Phase II work with a commercial prototype of the ocean drifter. The finished product will complement the company's established line of related sensor technologies used by the global research community to closely monitor conditions in oceans around the world.

Read more: NOAA Phase 2 SBIR Award