Instrumentation and Automation
Success of your environmental or natural resources project is often dependent upon the accuracy and efficiency of the data collection process. DBS&A regularly designs, installs, and operates a wide range of automated data collection equipment to monitor:
- Aquifer/pumping tests
- Recharge/infiltration studies
- Contaminant migration and tracking
- Water quality automated sampling
- Streamflow/surface water flow
- Ecological health assessments
- Water balance/watershed studies
- Landfill gas migration analyses
- Meteorological studies
- Fire hazard studies
- Air quality assessments
- Waste rock draindown analyses
The choice of equipment must take into consideration site-specific conditions, and our clients frequently call upon us to design and develop specialized monitoring equipment and programs for unique circumstances. DBS&A has collected data at sites ranging from remote areas where extreme weather and site access can be challenging to urban environments that require working around existing facility operations, infrastructure, or traffic. This wide range of experience enables us to anticipate site conditions that can affect equipment performance, such as temperature extremes, humidity, or caustic environments. Specifying and installing the right equipment and providing the proper maintenance ensures that equipment remains functional and data collection is consistent and reliable. DBS&A’s in-house expertise also makes us an excellent choice for development and hosting of customized data management systems, including user-friendly, web-based platforms.
DBS&A uses automated state-of-the-art instrumentation for:
- Meteorological stations that monitor basic weather data or more sophisticated configurations that can be used to estimate evapotranspiration rates
- Flow meters and pressure transducers for measurement of flow rates and water levels
- Systems for automated valve and pump activation based on water level, pressure, temperature, and other parameter-based criteria
- Lysimeters for water balance studies, and determination of soil water content, movement, and quality
- Heat dissipation sensors, time-domain reflectometry, and other sensors for measurement of soil moisture and matric potential
- Thermocouples, and thermal sensors for use of heat as a tracer
- Water quality probes for measurement of environmental parameters (e.g., pH, specific conductance, chloride, turbidity, etc.)
Research and Development
DBS&A has been dedicated to finding better, faster, more cost-effective solutions for our clients’ environmental challenges since the firm’s inception in 1984. DBS&A’s research and development (R&D) concentration began with the efforts of creative staff members who engineered, designed, and constructed equipment not available commercially to meet the need for specialized analyses tailored to project-specific circumstances. As DBS&A has grown, these engineering, design, and construction skills have evolved into a significant internal R&D program, which has led to five Small Business Innovation Research grants (both Phase I and II), as well as several patents.
DBS&A’s research capabilities have been recognized by national laboratories, government agencies, universities, and private institutions that have relied upon the expertise of DBS&A’s employee-owners in pursuing innovative solutions to environmental problems. These organizations and other clients with difficult or unique problems have benefited from our R&D emphasis. These R&D efforts have contributed to the success of many of our projects.
Our innovative team members engineer, design, and construct equipment not available commercially for specialized analyses and project-specific circumstances, such as:
Contact us: (505) 889-7752 | firstname.lastname@example.org. We are eager to create a solution for your project.
The DBS&A Soils Testing and Research Laboratory was certified by an independent inspection and assessment agency on behalf of a U.S. Department of Energy contractor to calibrate a variety of sensors and instruments used to collect soils data. Instruments that we calibrate include:
- Heat dissipation sensors
- Time-domain reflectometers (TDRs)
- Pressure transducers
- Water content reflectometers
- Gypsum blocks
- Custom instrumentation
Ask about our pre-calibrated sensors.
DBS&A also regularly designs, installs, and operates a wide range of automated data collection and monitoring equipment.
Soil Properties Testing
Understanding site soil condition—such as infiltration rates, seepage, leakage, and contaminant transport—is invaluable in optimizing design for recharge, irrigation, groundwater remediation, landfill, and dam projects and more.
The DBS&A Soil Testing and Research Laboratory provides analyses of consolidated and unconsolidated materials (e.g., rock, soil, fly ash, waste rock tailing, slag, concrete, etc.). DBS&A’s certified technicians have provided quality soil testing results for modeling, construction, and geotechnical projects for clients around the world. We are recognized for our ability to develop and implement innovative testing techniques and procedures to meet our clients’ specific challenges, and to provide consistent and reliable results following standard testing methods, including:
Hydrologic properties analyses:
- Saturated hydraulic conductivity
- Moisture-retention properties
- Soil-water characteristic curves
- Van Genuchten modeling parameters
- Hysteresis effects
- As-received soil water potential
- Effective porosity
- Water-holding capacity
Consolidation and strength testing:
- 1-dimensional swell and consolidation
- Triaxial strength and consolidation
- California bearing ratio (CBR)
Standard geotechnical testing:
- Particle size analysis
- Proctor compaction testing
- Plasticity index
- Specific gravity
Project-specific customized analyses:
- Column testing
- Capillary barrier analyses
- Leach testing
- Material-specific moisture retention analyses
A detailed listing of tests provided is available here. Tests and methods are updated regularly. If you do not see the testing you need, please call us at (505) 889-7752.
DBS&A also calibrates a variety of sensors and instruments. More information about our calibration services.
The laboratory adheres to standardized testing methods and industry-accepted procedures established by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Methods of Soil Analysis (MOSA), American Petroleum Institute (API), American Society of Agronomy (ASA), and procedures developed and patented by DBS&A personnel.