RDO ® Optical Dissolved Oxygen Sensor - In-Situ Inc.


RDO ® Optical Dissolved Oxygen Sensor - In-Situ Inc.

TROLL ® 9500 Water

Quality Instrument

Instruction Sheet

Cable Connect 0085070

Direct Connect 0084310

RDO ® Optical Dissolved Oxygen Sensor


The In-Situ RDO ® optical dissolved oxygen sensor measures dissolved

oxygen (DO) using the principle of “dynamic luminescence quenching.”

Certain molecules, called “lumiphores,” fluoresce when excited by light of

a specific wavelength. Oxygen molecules act to quench this fluorescence.

The lumiphores in the sensor are embedded in a gas-permeable sensing

foil in a replaceable cap.

The sensor optics include a lens, blue LED and filter, red LED and filter,

and a photodetector. When the blue LED emits light, the sensing foil emits

red photons; the presence of oxygen in the foil causes a reduction in red

light detected by the photodiode. The phase difference between the blue

excitation light and the returned red light is measured, and the result is

used to compute DO.

This method measures the "phase" (or delay) of the returned signal, and is

thus based on the “lifetime” rather than the “intensity” of the luminescence.

Unpack the RDO Cable Connect Sensor

The RDO cable connect sensor arrives installed in a 3-part adapter/restrictor/

nose cone assembly with the sensor cap in a black canister. Remove the

black restrictor and nose cone from the sensor and adapter assembly.



RDO sensor

Nose cone

The soft Cal Cup insert enables

calibration of the basic sensors

when the RDO sensor is installed.

It also contains an extra screw for the

adapter plate.

Unpack the RDO Direct Connect Sensor

The RDO direct connect sensor ships in a box as shown below:

Lens wipe

Sensor cap

RDO sensor

Instruction sheet

Required Materials

To use the RDO sensor, you will need the following items:


• TROLL 9500 instrument


• PC or RuggedReader handheld PC


• Most recent Win-Situ 4 or Pocket-Situ 4 software 1

RDO sensor package

• Alkaline battery package (included with the TROLL 9500 instrument)

• Communication cable

• Most recent version of TROLL 9500 firmware


• TROLL Com cable

Installing the RDO Sensor Cap

1. Remove the red protective dust cap from the sensor and save it for later use.

Protective dust cap

Sensor cap

2. Use the supplied lens wipe to clean the lens on the sensor, if necessary.

3. Remove the RDO sensor cap from its shipping sleeve.

4. Align the arrow on the cap with the index mark on the sensor and

firmly press the cap onto the sensor, without twisting, until it seals over

the probe body.

Keep the cap in its sealed packaging until you are ready to install it.

Make sure that the o-ring is not pinched or rolled inside the cap.

The cap's lifetime is 1 year after the first reading has been taken.

Install by the date printed on the packaging.

1 Make sure to use the most recent version of Win-Situ software. Free updates are available at

www.in-situ.com. You must have the most recent software version to allow firmware updates.

Page 2

Installing the RDO Sensor

1. Install two D alkaline batteries in the TROLL 9500 instrument.

2. Remove the standard restrictor or Cal Cup from the TROLL 9500

instrument (if attached). This allows access to the sensor block.

3. Determine the installation port(s) for the RDO sensor. For the cable

connect, choose port 1 or 3. For the direct connect, you must use both

ports 2 and 3. Ports 1 and 4 will be available for other sensors.



The cap's lifetime is 1 year after the first reading has been taken

with the TROLL 9500 instrument. Install by the date printed on

the packaging.

Perform a 2-point calibration on the sensor, as described below.

Attach the flow restrictor and nose cone.


Cable connect



Cable connect

Direct connect

Use the Sensor Removal tool to remove the plug or existing sensor

from the appropriate port(s).

TIP: If installing the cable connector in port 3, you may wish to

remove the port 2 sensor temporarily (if installed).

Attach the RDO sensor to the TROLL 9500:

a. For the direct connect sensor, remove

the soft cap from the connector end of

the RDO sensor. Plug the sensor pins

into port 3. The sensor will overlap the

white port plug and the dummy will sit

in port 2. Proceed to step 6.

b. For the cable connect sensor, insert the front end of

the TROLL 9500 through the large hole in the adapter,

alongside the RDO sensor.

Direct connect

9. If using a cable connect sensor with a turbidity sensor or turbidity

wiper, pull the slack in the adapter cable up against the probe so that it

does not interfere with wiper movement or turbidity readings.

Initial 2-Point CALIBRATION

For best results, perform a 2-point calibration at 100% and 0% saturation

before going into the field.


1. Connect the TROLL 9500 instrument to a PC or RuggedReader

handheld PC.

2. Launch Win-Situ 4 or Pocket-Situ 4; and "Find" the device. Select the

TROLL in the Navigation tree. The software will automatically detect

and display the installed sensors. (This can take a moment.)

3. In the Navigation tree, under Parameters, click on Rugged Dissolved

Oxygen. On the right side of the screen, click Calibrate.


c. Remove the soft cap from the connector end of the RDO

cable. Using the alignment notch, align the 3-pin connector

on the cable harness with the connector in the selected port

(1 or 3) of the TROLL 9500 and press it firmly into the port

until it sits flush with the instrument.

d. Press down on the adapter until the

instrument's sensor block is flush with the

adapter plate surface. Align the RDO

sensor between sensor ports 1 and 2.

Align the open hole for the RDO sensor

cable beside port 1.

e. Tighten the adapter screw with a Phillips screwdriver. Do

not overtighten.

Remove the RDO sensor cap from its shipping/storage sleeve. Align

the arrow with the index mark and firmly press the cap onto the sensor,

without twisting, until it seals over the probe body. Make sure that the

o-rings are not pinched or rolled between the cap and the sensor.

Avoid allowing moisture, including atmospheric humidity, inside

the cap. Keep the cap in its sealed packaging until you are ready

to install it. Install promptly. Make sure that o-ring grooves are dry

and the o-ring is not rolled or pinched inside the cap.


Three options appear. To perform a calibration, select the first or

second option:

• Calibrate: Starting from values stored in the sensor (user-set or factory

defaults) for the 0% and 100% calibration, this allows the user to redo

one or both calibration points

• Restore defaults, then calibrate: Restores factory defaults for both 0%

and 100%, then allows the user to redo one or both calibration points.

• Restore defaults, don't calibrate: Restores factory defaults for both

0% and 100% saturation and closes the Calibration Wizard.

Page 3

Indicators During Calibration

• Status:

NOT TESTED is displayed until you begin the calibration by selecting Run.

UNSTABLE indicates the sensor response does not yet meet the criteria

for a valid calibration point.

NOMINAL indicates the sensor deviation meets early stabilization criteria.

The Accept button becomes available when nominal stability is achieved.

You may accept the early value or wait for complete stability. If you accept

the early value, the calibration point will be designated “USER SET” in the

calibration report.

STABLE is displayed when the readings have stabilized sufficiently to take

a valid calibration point. The calibration proceeds automatically to the next


• Reading: The current sensor response in mg/L and degrees Celsius.

• Deviation: Change in sensor response between the last two readings. This

enables you to follow the progress of the stabilization, but deviation from

the previous reading is not necessarily the best indicator of stability as the

software is looking at longer-term trends.

• Barometric Pressure is shown in your selected unit.

Preparation for 100% Oxygen Calibration

100% DO calibration is performed in water saturated with air. We

recommend a container of clean water aerated with the In-Situ RDO

bubbler cal kit (see Replacement Parts list) or an aquarium pump.

Fill the bubbler cup with clean water. Turn on the pump and regulate

with the pinch valve. Insert the TROLL 9500 instrument into the bubbler,

resting the RDO adapter plate on the rim of the cup. Ensure that the

temperature sensor is submerged at least ½ in, and the RDO sensing

foil is not in the direct path of the bubbles.

5. After allowing 5 – 10 minutes for temperature stabilization, click the

Run button. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the 100%

calibration point.

6. Continue with the 0% Oxygen Calibration for a 2-point calibration or

select Next, then Finish to finalize the calibration.

Preparation for 0% Oxygen Calibration

0% D.O. calibration is performed in an oxygen-depleted solution. Sodium

sulfite (Na 2

SO 3

, see Replacement Parts list) is available from In-Situ Inc.

Bubbled nitrogen may be used; in this case allow plenty of time for the

oxygen to be completely purged from the water.

Units and Calculated Measurements

Four units of measurement are available for DO:

TIP: To change unit preferences: In Win-Situ 4, select

Preferences on the Options menu. In Pocket-Situ, select the

Home site, then tap Setup in the command bar.

Oxygen concentration in milligrams of oxygen per liter of water (mg/L).

Since a liter of pure water weighs 1000 grams, and a milligram is

1/1000 of a gram, this is equivalent to ppm (parts per million).

Oxygen concentration in micrograms of oxygen per liter of water (µg/L). This

is equivalent to parts per billion (ppb).

Oxygen concentration in microMolar (µmol/L) = mg/L x 31.25

Oxygen saturation in % —100% DO being the maximum (equilibrium)

amount of oxygen that can be dissolved in water at a given atmospheric

pressure, water temperature, and salinity. The percent saturation

output is automatically corrected using the TROLL 9500 instrument's

temperature, conductivity, and barometric pressure values (from a

barometric sensor on vented cable or from a user-entered input). If no

conductivity sensor is present, salinity is assumed to be zero.


The amount of oxygen that can be dissolved in water decreases at higher

temperatures and with increasing altitude (i.e., as barometric pressure

drops) and salinity. In other words, as water becomes warmer and saltier, it

can hold less DO.

During tests that include the RDO channel, the TROLL 9500 instrument

automatically measures barometric pressure and temperature for

compensation of DO readings.

The barometric pressure value at the time of calibration is stored in the

sensor and will be used to correct DO readings for weather-induced

pressure fluctuations taken at the same relative barometric pressure

as the calibration. However, the large changes in barometric pressure

due to changes in elevation are best accommodated by performing a

recalibration. If you calibrate at sea level, for example, and deploy the

instrument in the mountains, you should perform a recalibration at the

new altitude.

Exposure to direct sunlight can bleach the sensing foil over time but this

effect is minimized with the protection provided by the opaque optical

isolation layer. However, the frequent application of strong blue light (blue

LED during readings) will eventually have a bleaching effect on the foil.

In-Situ recommends sampling intervals of greater than 1 minute for longterm


Warning: The RDO sensor is not compatible with organic



Since the absolute solubility of oxygen is lower in saline waters, it is

advantageous to compensate DO concentration readings (µg/L, mg/L,

µmol/L) to ensure that the sensor accurately reports the concentration of

DO in the presence of significant salinity. This can be accomplished by

storing a salinity value in the sensor before taking measurements. The

compensation algorithm is applied internally before the concentration is

reported. The degree of compensation is minimal at very low salinities, and

but may affect readings by several percent at higher levels.

To store a salinity value in the RDO sensor, connect in Win-Situ 4 or

Pocket-Situ 4, select RDO in the Navigation tree, click Edit and in the next

screen select "Edit RDO Salinity Value."

Page 4

Maintenance AND STORAGE

Cleaning the Sensor Cap





Leave the cap on the sensor!

Rinse the sensor with clean water from a squirt bottle or spray bottle.

Gently wipe with a soft cloth or brush if biofouling is present.

If extensive fouling or mineral build-up is present, soak the cap end in

vinegar for 15 minutes, then soak in deionized water for 15 minutes.


Method Type


Accuracy (DO)

Do not use organic solvents—they will damage the foil. Do not

remove the cap from the sensor prior to brushing.

Response Time


Usage Life of Cap

Shelf Life of Cap

Operating Temperature

Pressure Rating

Storage Conditions, Cap

After cleaning the sensor, perform a 2-point user calibration.

Cleaning the Optical Window (Perform only when changing the cap.)

Remove the cap and gently wipe the window with the supplied lens wipe.

Caution: Do not wet the lens area with water or any solution.

Cleaning the Sensor Body

With the sensor cap installed on sensor, gently scrub sensor body with a

soft brush. Soak in vinegar and DI water to remove mineral deposits or

extensive fouling as in step 4, above.

Storage Conditions, Sensor

Salinity range

pH range

ASTM D888-05 Test Method C

0 to 20 mg/L concentration,

0 to 450% saturation

±0.1 mg/L, 0 to 8 mg/L

±0.2 mg/L, 8 to 20 mg/L

T90: 30 sec T95: 37 sec

0.01 mg/L

1 year from the first instrument reading

24 months from date of manufacture

0° to 50°C (32° to 122°F)

300 PSI (210 m, 692 ft)

1° to 60°C (33° to 140°F), in factorysupplied


-5° to 60°C (23° to 140°F)

Up to 42 ppt

2-10 pH


Prior to installation: Store in factory supplied container

Installed: Store as per requirements of other installed sensors, for

example, pH, if installed. Keep or store in a moist environment, such as

the recyclable calibration and storage sleeve or the optional calibration and

storage vessel.

Insert the 9500 instrument with

attached RDO sensor into its Cal cup

and tighten.

For the sub-4 in model, attach

the red plug to seal the top of the


Alternatively, place a sleeve inside

restrictor. Add a small amount of

water or pH buffer to keep moist.

Replacing the Sensor Cap

The sensor cap has a 1-year life after the TROLL 9500 instrument takes

its first RDO sensor reading. Replacement caps are available from In-Situ

Inc. or your authorized In-Situ distributor.

1. Pull the used sensor cap off of the sensor, without twisting.

2. Remove the existing o-rings from the sensor.

3. Use a lint-free cloth to remove any moisture from the sensor body.

Note: Ensure that there is no moisture in the o-ring grooves.

Avoid touching or cleaning the lens with anything other than the

supplied lens wipe.

4. Use your finger to apply a layer of lubricant around the o-ring grooves.

Place the o-rings on the sensor. Apply another thin layer of lubricant to

the o-rings and grooves

Note: Do not transfer grease to the lens or sensor pins.

5. Clean the lens on the sensor with the wipe provided in the kit and allow

to dry thoroughly. Inspect for scratches or dirt.

6. Remove the new cap from its sealed packaging and attach it to the

sensor, being careful to press firmly, without twisting, until it seals over

the probe body. Make sure that the o-rings are not pinched or rolled

between the cap and sensor.

7. Perform a 2-point calibration as described in the RDO Instruction

Sheet or TROLL 9500 Operator's Manual.


RDO Sensor Cap Replacement Kit............................................................................................................................................................................... 0084230

0% Calibration Solution (Sodium sulfite, Na 2

SO 3

), 500 mL........................................................................................................................................... 0017670

0% Calibration Kit (pint Sodium sulfite, quart DI water).................................................................................................................................................0032110

RDO Calibration Kit for Cable Connect RDO sensor (Bubbler), includes 500 mL sodium sulfite................................................................................. 0048580

RDO Calibration Kit for Direct Connect RDO sensor (Bubbler), includes 500 mL sodium sulfite................................................................................. 0080830

Calibration and Storage Sleeves, recyclable, (100/pkg).............................................................................................................................................. 0060870

1 800 446 7488

(toll-free, US and Canada) or 970 498 1500


Information is subject to change without notice. In-Situ and the In-Situ logo, Win-Situ, TROLL, BaroTROLL, RuggedReader, RuggedCable, and RDO are

trademarks or registered trademarks of In-Situ Inc. Copyright © 2008-2009 by In-Situ Inc. All rights reserved.

rev 005 0085072 01/09

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