+44 (0)24 7671 8970
More publications     •     Advertise with us     •     Contact us
News Article

SETi wins $1.6 million contract to purify water with AlGaN LEDs

The firm has secured funding to develop portable systems in warfighters using its aluminium gallium nitride LED technology

Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc. (SETi) has been awarded a program from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop a self-contained portable water purification system for warfighters.

The system will incorporate SETi's UV LED technology for water quality monitoring and disinfection.

The aim of the program is to develop a portable unit that can provide a small team of warfighters with a self-sustainable source of potable water from any fresh water source.

Stand-alone UV LED water disinfection efficacy has already been demonstrated at SETi through a program funded by the National Science Foundation. However, this demonstration was designed for commercial use and will not meet the needs of the warfighter.

In order to achieve compliance with the rigorous standards of NSF P-248, SETi has teamed up with Cascade Designs, Inc (CDI) of Seattle, Washington, to combine novel mechanical filtration technologies with the effective disinfection of UV LEDs. 

The system will also use SETi’s UV LEDs to monitor the water “quality”, optimising the system efficiency and effectiveness. Through funding this program ONR has demonstrated its commitment to a new type of water purification system that will benefit from the UV LED advantages, making it smaller, more robust and lower power than anything available today and will reduce the need for chemical disinfectants such as chlorine and iodine.

The system has major implications for improving the self sufficiency of warfighters in mobile operations.

“Modern warfighters assume many risks on the battlefield; drinking contaminated water should not be a concern” says Cody Reese, Program Manager at ONR. “Just as visible-light LEDs have changed the face of lighting, ultraviolet LEDs have the potential to revolutionise water disinfection at all scales with a marked improvement to safety, durability, and energy consumption -  from the mouth-piece of an individual drink tube, all the way to commercial-scale water treatment plants”.

SETi, recently announced eight fold efficiency improvements of LEDs operating in the germicidal wavelength range, through a DARPA development program. “SETi is extremely excited to start this development program through ONR” comments Remis Gaska, President and CEO of SETi, “it will lead on from our successes in DARPA and other military programs to develop a military application based on this new technology”.

During the project CDI will be focusing on designing novel filtration techniques to complement SETi’s UV LED disinfection reactor.

“Cascade Designs is an innovative company that embraces new technologies to build ground breaking new products both in the public and private sectors” says Joe McSwiney, President of CDI. “We truly believe that UV LEDs will become a compelling disinfection technology component in the creation of safe drinking water both for our troops and the general public.”

Other members of the development team include the University of Colorado’s department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, led by Karl Linden and the Institute of Applied Research at Vilnius University, Lithuania, led by Arturas Zukauskas.

The team at University of Colorado is focused on research related to advanced treatment technologies for water and with a rich history in UV systems, will assist in modelling water flow and light distribution from the LEDs to optimise the efficacy of the UV chamber.

With a strong history of integrated SETi LEDs into optical monitors and spectrometers, Vilnius University will assist in the development of an optical water quality monitor that will measure the microbial level in the water and adjust the system accordingly.

Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Compound Semiconductor Magazine, the Compound Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.

Please subscribe me to:


You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in: