Columbia Basin Trust Supports Water and Wastewater Sensor Testing Facility

By Todd Westcott 09:58AM November 28, 2018



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Carl Data Solutions’ subsidiary, Astra Smart Systems Corp. has been awarded CAD $225,000 in funding from the Columbia Basin Trust Impact Investment Fund to continue development of a new water and wastewater sensor testing lab facility.

The first of its kind in Western Canada, the facility will feature a full set of testing environments allowing the development of breakthrough AI, machine learning enabled devices. By creating the space, Astra can take a percentage of the water instrumentation market predicted by Global Industry Analysis to reach USD $3.6 billion by 2020.

“This will give all our sensor product lines a boost and will ensure a competitive advantage in the environmental monitoring space,” said Astra CEO, Pilar Portela. “Our current facility was originally designed for controlled testing. So, with this funding, we will be able to evolve it into something cutting-edge for technology development that will also benefit our industry partners.”

Smart cities and utilities require technology that helps them improve process efficiency, while reducing operational costs. The ability to fine-tune and control the development of sensor technologies that will fully exploit the benefits of machine learning is still a nascent process. There is still a lack of instrumentation control and testing facilities. The few university facilities that do exist are primarily focused on the quality of the water and less on the instrumentation control aspects of water and wastewater management.  These facilities are not readily available to private industry to support business development growth. Astra’s facility will help forward private sector access to and development of these instruments.

“The development of this facility not only means a faster go-to-market time for our own unique Industrial IoT devices,” said Carl Data CEO and president, Greg Johnston, “but will also generate revenue through rental agreements with others building smart sensors that are complimentary to Carl Data’s end-to-end environmental monitoring deployments.”

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