Optical properties of Nannochloropsis sp and their application to remote estimation of cell mass

Anatoly A. Gitelson, Yury A. Grits, Dror Etzion, Zou Ning, Amos Richmond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The absorption and scattering coefficients and reflectance spectra of ultra-high density Nannochloropsis occulata cultures were investigated in detail to identify the optical properties of the cultures and devise algorithms for remote estimation of dry cell mass in ultra-high cell density cultures. High-spectral resolution measurements of apparent absorption and attenuation as well as reflectance from 400 to 900 nm were carried out in relation to the dry weight, cell count, and pigment concentration in outdoor cultures. Indices calculated as (R(NIR) - R(red))/(R(NIR) + R(red)) and R(NIR)/R(red), in which R(NIR) iS reflectance in the range from 750 to 800 nm and R(red) is reflectance in the range 670-680 nm, were used for remote assessment of dry cell mass. Remote estimation in the range 1 to 8 g/L was accomplished with an error of less than 0.66 g/L. A different index, i.e., (R(NIR) - R(red)) was employed for estimation of cell-chlorophyll concentration. This is the first report of in vivo specific absorption coefficient of chlorophyll-a and specific scattering coefficient per dry algal weight of Nannochloropsis sp., providing a basis for remote monitoring of dense phytoplankton masses. (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-525
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 5 2000


  • Absorption
  • Pigment concentration
  • Reflectance
  • Remote sensing
  • Scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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