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Portable imaging system for rapid physical analysis


To understand how microplastics break down, move through the oceans and freshwater systems and collect on coastlines, researchers and community monitoring groups must be able to quantify a robust set of particle size parameters.


Saturna is a portable, standardized imaging and illumination device that plugs in to your computer and syncs with a standalone analysis web application to rapidly characterize and quantify visible microplastic particles. 


Use it to collect a robust set of size, colour and categorical metrics for visible microplastic samples (>400μm) like those collected from Manta trawls, neuston nets, beach quadrat samples and community studies.

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  • Highly standardized built-in LED lighting system provides consistent and reproducible lighting for your microplastic samples 

  • Compatible with any Windows PC and operated using our Mariana data portal or standalone analysis application

  • Provides physical size and colour data for all microplastic particles imaged

  • Computer pattern recognition and sizing algorithms calculate 11 discrete size calculations for every particle  

  • Predictive colour models calculate repeatable and standardized average colour calculations for each particle  

  • Compare your samples over spatial areas using our Mariana data portal for further insight and sample analysis 


The data below is provided for every particle imaged:

  • Maximum Width (mm)  

  • 2D Surface Area (mm2)  

  • Convex Surface Area (mm2)  

  • Perimeter (mm)  

  • Convex Perimeter (mm)  

  • Bounding Box Width (mm)  

  • Bounding Box Height (mm)  

  • Aspect Ratio  

  • Circularity  

  • Convexity  

  • Solidity  

  • Average HSV Colour Value  

  • Average LAB Colour Value  

  • Average BGR Colour Value  

  • AI Colour Prediction and Confidence Interval (Using 15 common color keys)  



  • Use to collect high quality physical data for visible particles larger than 400μm in size

  • Integrated 8MP Sony IMX179 CMOS Imaging sensor provides high resolution data

  • Integrated ~4000k neutral white LED array and light-blocking shroud provide highly standardized microplastics images with consistent lighting for comparative size and colour analysis across time, location and external lighting conditions

  • Included QR Code background sheet provides accurate particle sizing reference for physical analysis computer vision algorithms

  • Use Saturna through our Mariana data portal or standalone application with any Windows PC

  • Waterproof hard case included for easy transport into the field (26cm x 20cm x 12cm)


Use Saturna with the analysis application to rapidly calculate 15 size, shape and colour parameters for every particle images. Application features include the following:

  • Saturna's standalone analysis application is live. Version 1.3.5 includes upgraded features:

  • On or offline use with Chrome Apps

  • Persistent user configuration settings

  • Region of Interest (ROI) selection

  • Particle size threshold filtering

  • Data references for each parameter

  • Histograms for each parameter

  • Meta data tagging

  • Sortable data tables 

  • Download data to .CSV file in one click 

  • Upgraded analysis documentation 


The application is only compatible with the Saturna Imaging System.

Use Saturna on its own or with our Community Science Toolkit!

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Use Saturna on its own as a portable research tool to accurately analyze visible microplastic particles such as those from Manta trawls, net tows and ingestion studies.


Use our Toolkit to learn about microplastic pollution, collect samples from your local sandy beach(es), upload and evaluate the data with Saturna and contribute the data to our Mariana Data Portal.


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