From Sea to Shore, New Digital Seawater Refractometer is First to Measure Practical Salinity Units

MISCO Seawater Refractometer Aquar

AQAUR Yields High-Precision Measurements of Seawater, Saltwater & Brackish Ocean Water

MISCO introduces the new Palm Abbe AQUAR™ series of handheld digital refractometers, engineered specifically for measuring the physical properties of seawater, saltwater and brackish ocean water. The AQUAR Digital Seawater Refractometer is the first refractometer in the world able to express results in Practical Salinity Units (PSU), while also providing an instant digital field-determination of specific gravity, density, sigma-t, conductivity, and Chlorinity.

Designed specifically for oceanography, aquaculture, professional aquariums, desalination plants, and research, the MISCO AQUAR Digital Seawater Refractometer is equally at home on ship or on shore. It achieves higher accuracy and overcomes many of the limitations of other test methods including chloride titration, hydrometers, and conductivity meters.

The AQUAR series refractometers are based on the accepted physical properties of seawater, and the latest scientific research, as published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and others. It is this seawater basis separates the MISCO AQUAR refractometers from other refractometers that are based on only sodium chloride. The user may select from a number of physical properties of interest including, salinity expressed in Practical Salinity Units (PSU), specific gravity and density at a number of reference temperatures, sigma-t, conductivity.

“Thanks to a 1,024 element detector array,” boasts Michael Caminer, MISCO Director of Marketing, “measurements are made with a precision comparable to mid-range bench-top laboratory refractometers costing thousands of dollars more, yet it still fits in the palm of your hand!.”

The Palm Abbe AQUAR refractometer requires only a couple of drops of seawater to fill its stainless-steel sample well and the sapphire optics, the next hardest substance to diamond, will withstand years of wear and tear. A simple, user-friendly interface consists of two buttons: one to take readings and the other to step through various menu options. The large 24-character LCD display is easily read, even in dim light, and an evaporation cover helps prevent evaporation and keeps out stray light.

Protection against inaccurate readings due to temperature differences, a major concern with refractometer measurements, is assured with nonlinear temperature compensation specific to seawater. Temperature compensation is automatic for fluids read between 0 and 50 °C (+32 to 122 °F). Calibration of the AQUAR is automatic and does not require special calibration solutions or tools; they automatically calibrate themselves to water.

The following standard instruments and scales are available:



A world leader in the refractometer field, MISCO is headquartered in Cleveland, OH, home to the company for nearly 60 years. MISCO designs, manufacturers and sells a variety of refractometers, including: digital bench-top laboratory refractometers, inline process control refractometers, digital handheld refractometers, and traditional handheld instruments. For more information, please call (216) 831-1000, or access MISCO’s web site at