Imaging Particle Analysis - Oceanographic Applications - Discrete or Continuous Analysis

FlowCAM® lends itself to numerous aquatic research applications, offering both discrete sampling and continuous, in-situ analysis.


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FlowCAM detects and measures marine plankton and particles in a continuous fluid flow. Scientists, researchers and technicians can obtain size, shape, fluorescence and concentration statistics in a fraction of the time required by traditional microscopy. The high speed imaging particle analyzer also provides some of the capabilities of a flow cytometer. A wealth of information is derived from the microscopic images. By acquiring and storing a digital image of each particle detected, different particle types in a heterogeneous sample can be automatically identified, differentiated and quantified. FlowCAM® acquires high resolution microscopic images at a very rapid rate; typically up to 10,000 images/minute. The intuitive VisualSpreadsheet© analysis software uses proprietary methods that allow the user to sort, filter and classify particle images interactively.

FlowCAM on Tara Oceans

A FlowCAM is currently installed and sailing with the Tara Oceans Project. Tara is a 36 meter long twin-masted sailing vessel on a 3 year, 150,000km voyage to study and document microscopic life in the earth's oceans. Manned by an international team of oceanographers, biologists, ecologists and physicists from prestigious international laboratories, the mission seeks to study the effects of increasing levels of CO2 in the earth's atmosphere on microscopic plankton. Since plankton are responsible for absorbing half of the CO2 produced worldwide and producing oxygen on enormous scales, their fate is critical to the overall planet's health. By putting the scientists and measurement equipment on the boat, Tara will be able to continuously monitor the world's oceans using the same observation and collection methods everywhere. More info on the Tara project can be found at: With over 150 FlowCAMs now in use by scientists and water quality professionals from around the world, the FlowCAM is being used for:

  • Research
  • Plankton Classification
  • Continuous Monitoring
  • HAB Detection and Algal Bloom Warnings
  • Education
  • Ballast Water Monitoring
  • Studies on Community Structure



FlowCAM Aquatic 4 Page Brochure



ViSp Automatic Classification



FlowCAM Aquatic Research Papers




FlowCAM –Aplicaciones Acuáticas. Catálogo de 4 páginas



Customer List

Aquatic Research Customer List



Fluid Imaging at Ocean Sciences 2008