Once limited to defense applications, IR detectors and sources are now widely available for civil applications. Building on our team’s expertise in IR technology, we explore implementation of the modern IR components in real-time monitoring systems for operation in challenging environments. Max-IR Labs is currently focused on development of sensitive, accurate, real-time monitoring system for nitrate sensing in groundwaters and agricultural runoff suitable for low-cost field deployment in remote locations. While the modern low-power IR detectors and sources are the backbone of the commercial gas monitors, strong attenuation of IR signal in water generally hinders application of this technology in aqueous environments. Our patent-pending technology aims to resolve this problem by utilizing fiber-optic evanescent wave technique, guiding the radiation through an IR waveguide rather than the liquid itself. This ensures that the signal reaches the detector. Our proprietary background subtraction methodology enables long unattended operation in remote locations without the need for frequent calibrations. This novel approach departs from the widely explored UV and electrochemical nitrate detection in water, targeting the development of the low-cost, available technology for construction of dense monitoring networks.