PFAS Detection and Quantification… A Deep Dive on our Latest Algorithm

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PFAS Detection and Quantification… A Deep Dive on our Latest Algorithm

What is PFAS?

PFAS is the name given to a wide family of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, illustrated above. These chemical compounds are important for their endurance and resistance to hydrocarbons, water, harsh chemicals, heat, and fire. 

History of PFAS?

Industrial companies began manufacturing PFAS compounds in the 1950’s. The demand for these compounds was attributable to their vastly improved protection of surfaces from the conditions outlined above.

The United States Navy started researching better ways to extinguish fires in the 1960’s, the resulting product was termed aqueous film forming foam (AFFF). According to pfasfacts.com, The Navy patented the technology and required its vessels carry AFFF to protect the lives of U.S. sailors, airmen and flight officers after 134 sailors died in a fire aboard the USS Forrestal in 1967. To this day, the military specification governing AFFF requires the use of PFAS-based surfactants given their unique and life-saving properties.”

Where is PFAS?

The following list is provided from pfasfacts.com.

  • Food packaged in PFAS-containing materials, processed with equipment that used PFAS, or grown in PFAS-contaminated soil or water.
  • Commercial household products, including stain- and water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products (e.g., Teflon), polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products, and fire-fighting foams (a major source of groundwater contamination at airports and military bases where firefighting training occurs).
  • Workplace, including production facilities or industries (e.g., chrome plating, electronics manufacturing or oil recovery) that use PFAS.
  • Drinking water, typically localized and associated with a specific facility (e.g., manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant, firefighter training facility).
  • Living organisms, including fish, animals and humans, where PFAS have the ability to build up and persist over time.

 Satelytics can now detect, and quantify PFAS

Satelytics has identified a unique spectral fingerprint for PFAS. Figure 1 shows a time sequence observation of PFAS signature using spectral analytics. 

Figure 1 - left
Figure 2 - right

Figure 1 - left

Figure 2 - right

The analytics are correlated, Figure 2, to sensors that are currently available on the satellite or other aerial platform able to capture the necessary area of interest. The anatomy of an algorithm identifies the spectral signature for direct light reflectance, also corroborating elements and even surrogates for continuous improvement in accuracy and quantification. The software and science analytics are correlated to ground samples which are measured by an independent laboratory.

Algorithms are built for both land and water and render on the Satelytics.io software platform allowing not only detection, but MEASUREMENT of the desired constituent, often down to PPT concentrations!

Figure 3. PFAS compounds measure on land and water, EVERY PIXEL EVERY TIME, even extract data points to feed other software and reporting applications.

Figure 3PFAS compounds measure on land and water, EVERY PIXEL EVERY TIME, even extract data points to feed other software and reporting applications.

Satelytics Inc., www.satelytics.com is a cloud-based geospatial analytics software suite.  Multi or hyper-spectral imagery is gathered from satellites, UAV, planes, and fixed cameras, and processed to provide both alerts and qualitative results for our customers. Data can be gathered on up to a daily basis and results sent to customers in hours. This includes the specific problem, location, magnitude, and even qualitative information, which minimize cost, impact, and operational disruption for our clients.

For more information, contact David Dunham, ddunham@satelytics.com, (o) (419) 728 0060 extension #101,  (c) (701) 213 0294.

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