BallastWISE allows for detection of living heterotrophic and autotrophic organisms within two size-ranges: 10 – 50µm and >50µm

Using high resolution cameras, light-emitting diodes and image analysis algorithms, to provide a reliable count of the number of living organisms, in any kind of water-sample.

After analysis a one-page document is created automatically, showing the number of organisms detected, making it easy to provide a report of compiled analyses run over a period of time. The report also states if the number of organisms is within the limits stated by the IMO ballast water convention.

All the equipment is contained within two durable, waterproof cases, to make for quick transport in the field, on board a vessel or in the lab.  


Computer: Intel Core i7 2.5 GHz Quad Core CPU

Power requirements: 220V/110V

Dimensions: 35 x 25 x 15 cm (lxhxw)

Pumps and lights are controlled via a microprocessor and solid-state relays. The synchronization of the pumping, illumination, and video analysis is performed by the main application program running on the computer.

After analysis, a one-page report is created automatically, which can be stored on a secure server. It is then easy to create a log documenting the results of any analysis run with BallastWISE.

The report shows time and date of analysis, as well as the number of organisms that are pigmented, mobile and those that are both, within each size-range.


Weight: 8 kg                            Dimensions: 38 x 31 x 18 cm (lxhxw)

BallastWISE analyses both of the available size fractions by using two separate video cameras for directly viewing individual organisms in their respective size ranges. Each camera examines an optical chamber which, using a system of pumps, is filled with a portion of the water sample to be analysed.

Within each size-range, the sample is analysed for presence of autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms.

Autotrophic organisms are measured by fluorescence and movement, using violet light to illuminate the chamber.

Heterotrophic organisms are measured by movement using white light to illuminate the chamber.

Movement and dimension assessment is performed by our state-of-the-art algorithm, during either analysis.


The BallastWISE test kit is the only completely portable solution based on image analysis, which enables detection of both autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms. The method makes addition of chemicals and other forms for sample preparation unnecessary.


Heterotrophic organisms get their energy by consuming organic matter, often in the form of other organisms. This group is comprised of a wide range of lifeforms, such as bacteria and zooplankton.


Autotrophic organisms use inorganic sources, such as light, to get energy.

In ecological contexts, they are known as producers, making the biomass consumed by heterotrophic organisms. Many algae species are autotrophic.    


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