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The Story of the CI-602 Narrow Gauge Root Imager

Posted by: Chelsea Gaya
July 12, 2017

Here at CID Bio-Science, we truly feel privileged to be in the company of passionate and driven scientists and researchers.

We have a small, yet strong team who works to connect with those both interested in and currently using our instruments.
Working closely with our customer base to address their needs sets us apart from other instrument manufacturers. 

Take, for instance, the case of the CI-602 Narrow Gauge Root Imager.  

Over the years, at one of the many conferences we attend, we met with a particular researcher often. He would speak about creating a large scale minirhizotron study across multiple locations and states to study the roots of important biofuel crops.  As our interest and relationship grew, CID Bio-Science's excitement grew with the vision of that researcher.
In 2016 we were thrilled to learn his ambitious grant proposal was approved; It planned for approximately 1000 minirhizotron tubes across multiple sites. (More information on minirhizotrons here.) 

With the news of his approval, he contacted CID Bio-Science to discuss ordering a minirhizotron instrument. The main desire was to have a single access tube which multiple instruments could utilize to assess root and soil condition, including a minirhizotron and soil moisture probe.

In order to help this researcher, CID Bio-Science contacted several different soil moisture probe manufacturers to see if their instruments would work in our existing CI-600 Root Imager tubes.  We discovered, however, the need was for a smaller 2” diameter tube in order to operate non-contact soil moisture sensors inside the same tubes as our minizhotron.

The team at CID Bio-Science got together to look at the feasibility of “miniaturizing” our minirhizotron so that it could fit into 2” tubes. We identified some major changes that were necessary to scale the CI-600 down, including moving the main board that operates the imager outside of the scanner and locating it outside of the tube. In this process, we also identified some areas we knew we would make improvements over the existing CI-600: faster scan time, higher resolutions (true scans at 1200 DPI).

With these discoveries, our engineers, using frequent updates from our users, got to work making the vision of the CI-602 a reality.

This group of researchers purchased and installed 2” root tubes in Fall of 2016, allowing proper time for roots to grow and establish around the tubes before the imaging was set to begin Spring of 2017.
Early Spring, our first CI-602’s were delivered to these researchers. Our support team of application scientists and engineers have been in constant contact with them throughout the process to provide aid for their study and new minirhizotrons, eagerly awaiting results, and providing as much personalized, hands-on help and instruction as possible.

This is an ongoing project and study, and just one of many instances where the team here at CID Bio-Science provides hands-on and interactive support for the researchers we service.

For more information on the CI-600 and CI-602, feel free to reach out to our Sales Director, Andrea Melnychenko. Following our proud tradition of accessibility and enthusiasm for plant science, Andrea will be happy to chat with you about any needs you may have.

Author Image
Chelsea Gaya

Marketing Manager

1-360-833-8835 Ext. 217