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SAMSON: Spectral Absorption-fluorescence Microscopy System for ON-site-imaging of algae


This paper presents SAMSON, a Spectral Absorption-fluorescence
Microscopy System for ON-site-imaging of algae within a water
sample. Designed to be portable and low-cost for on-site use,
the optical sub-system of SAMSON consists of a mixture of low-
cost optics and electronics, designed specifically to capture both
fluorescent and absorption responses from a water sample. The
graphical user interface (GUI) sub-system of SAMSON was de-
signed to enable flexible visualisation of algae in the water sample
in real-time, with the ability to perform fine-grained exposure con-
trol and illumination wavelength selection. We demonstrate SAM-
SON’s capabilities by equipping the system with two fluorescent
illumination sources and seven absorption illumination sources to
enable the capture of multispectral data from six different algae
species (three from the Cyanophyta phylum (blue-green algae) and
three from the Chlorophyta phylum (green algae)). The key benefit
of SAMSON is the ability to perform rapid acquisition of fluores-
cence and absorption data at different wavelengths and magnifica-
tion levels, thus opening the door for machine learning methods to
automatically identify and enumerate different algae in water sam-
ples using this rich wealth of data.