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HydroSurveyor M9 Rapid Reservoir Surveys

HydroSurveyor M9: Rapid Reservoir Surveys Made Easy

SonTek's HydroSurveyor M9 system is transforming reservoir surveys in the UK and Europe. By combining acoustic doppler profilers with a remote-control boat, this innovative solution offers rapid, accurate, and safe data collection for reservoirs of all sizes. Discover the game-changing capabilities of the HydroSurveyor M9 system, its integration with the ARC-Boat, and the myriad benefits it brings to reservoir surveys. Experience improved efficiency, reduced costs, and enhanced environmental impact, revolutionising reservoir assessments for better management decisions.

HydroSurveyor M9: Rapid Reservoir Surveys Made Easy

Llyn y Dywarchen Reservoir, Rhyd Ddu, Gwynedd, Wales, United Kingdom


As the regulatory requirement to assess United Kingdom reservoirs and lakes expands to include smaller bodies of water, the HydroSurveyor M9 system, specifically designed for reservoir surveys, has been seamlessly integrated into a remote-control boat. This innovative solution by SonTek allows for the swift, straightforward, and accurate collection of hydrometric data while ensuring safety and precision.

HydroSurveyor M9: Empowering Reservoir Surveys

HR Wallingford developed the ARC-Boat, a remote-controlled vessel that incorporates SonTek's cutting-edge Acoustic Doppler Profiler (ADP®) technology. The HydroSurveyor M9 system, known for its advanced capabilities including 5-beam depth sounding, water velocity profiling, and precise navigation, is at the heart of this configuration. By mounting the HydroSurveyor M9 on the ARC boat, reservoir surveys become a seamless process. As the boat glides across the water's surface, the HydroSurveyor M9 scans the reservoir, capturing essential data. This recorded data is then meticulously analysed using the HydroSurveyor software, resulting in accurate depth measurements and detailed bathymetry maps of the entire water body. By performing minimal post-processing in GIS or 3-D CAD, reservoir owners can easily determine the precise water volume.

HydroSurveyor M9: Rapid Reservoir Surveys Made Easy
The HydroSurveyorTM is designed to collect bathymetric, water column velocity, currents profile, and acoustic bottom tracking data as part of a hydrographic survey. The two key components of the system are the HydroSurveyor Acoustic Doppler Profiler platform, and the powerful, yet user-friendly, data collection software.
HydroSurveyor M9: Rapid Reservoir Surveys Made Easy
Flood and Water Management Act 2010

Reservoir Surveys Made Easy with HydroSurveyor M9

The HydroSurveyor M9 system is specifically designed to excel in hydrographic surveys, offering comprehensive data collection capabilities, including bathymetric mapping, water column velocity profiling, currents profiling, and acoustic bottom tracking. The system comprises two key components: the HydroSurveyor Acoustic Doppler Profiler platform and the user-friendly data collection software.

Craig Goff, a reservoir Supervising Panel Engineer and dam specialist at HR Wallingford, conducted a trial project using the ARC-Boat and HydroSurveyor M9 system to assess five reservoirs. Goff shares his enthusiasm, stating, "The HydroSurveyor M9 system offers tremendous advantages over traditional manned boat techniques. It ensures faster survey completion, enhanced safety, minimal environmental impact, and optimal resource utilisation. These factors collectively result in significant time and cost savings, which are especially important considering the regulatory requirements outlined in the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and the Reservoirs Act 1975."

HydroSurveyor M9: Rapid Reservoir Surveys Made Easy

Flood and Water Management Act 2010

Navigating Reservoir Regulations

Residential and industrial developments have altered the risk landscape associated with UK reservoirs. To address this, the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 introduced amendments to the Reservoirs Act 1975, emphasising a risk-based approach to reservoir regulation. While the specific requirements for reservoirs under the 2010 Act are still being defined through secondary legislation, the urgency for reservoir assessments is undeniable. In this context, the HydroSurveyor M9 system emerges as a promising solution for reservoir bathymetry evaluations.

HydroSurveyor M9: Rapid Reservoir Surveys Made Easy

Flood and Water Management Act 2010

Harnessing Cutting-Edge Technology

The HydroSurveyor M9 system stands out by leveraging a 9-beam Acoustic Doppler Profiler (ADP) to achieve highly accurate depth measurements across a wide footprint on the waterbed. This innovative configuration reduces the time required to navigate the boat compared to traditional single-beam instruments. Notably, the HydroSurveyor M9 system operates effectively in depths ranging from 0.2m to over 40m.

In addition to its depth profiling capabilities, the HydroSurveyor M9 system incorporates built-in navigation, comprehensive water column velocity (currents) profiling, precise compensation for speed of sound variations, and integrated positioning features.

The ARC-Boat, purposefully designed with a V-shaped hull, ensures optimal manoeuvrability and minimal air entrainment beneath the Acoustic Doppler Profiler. The vessel includes practical features such as grab handles on the upper deck, facilitating easy launch even in challenging locations. Moreover, the ARC-Boat's detachable bow enables convenient transportation in an average-sized car.

HydroSurveyor M9: Rapid Reservoir Surveys Made Easy

ARC remote control boat in operation

Efficient Data Management

The HydroSurveyor M9 system's user-friendly software provides a centralised platform for seamless data recording and processing. Users can effortlessly generate bathymetric maps using properly gridded data points, with the software automating this process. Furthermore, the integration of the HydroSurveyor M9 system with the CastAway-CTD for sound speed compensation ensures high-quality surveys through spatial and temporal data interpolation.

HydroSurveyor M9: Rapid Reservoir Surveys Made Easy
2-dimensional map of a reservoir following a survey
HydroSurveyor M9: Rapid Reservoir Surveys Made Easy
3-dimensional map of reservoir following a HydroSurveyor

Successful Trial Results

Goff expresses immense satisfaction with the results of the initial trials conducted on five reservoirs in southern England. He highlights the exceptional performance of the HydroSurveyor M9 system, which operated seamlessly from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm on a single set of batteries. The surveys were completed much faster compared to traditional methods, eliminating health and safety risks associated with staff working over water and minimising environmental impact by avoiding the use of diesel-powered survey boats. The high-quality, accurate data generated at a modest cost left the client thoroughly pleased.

Unlocking Potential Applications

In addition to surveying smaller reservoirs, the HydroSurveyor M9 system holds significant potential for larger reservoirs in various operations, including the creation of sedimentation models. These models inform strategies to prevent capacity depletion and extend reservoir lifespans through techniques like flushing, excavation, and dredging. Moreover, ARC-Boat surveys can effectively assess sedimentation levels around submerged hydropower or draw-off pipe intakes, playing a crucial role in turbine protection and the operation of scour pipes and water supply draw-off pipes from reservoirs.

HydroSurveyor M9: Rapid Reservoir Surveys Made Easy

The HydroSuveyor software provides detailed information as the survey progresses.

Streamlining Reservoir Assessments

The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 requires owners of small reservoirs to determine whether their water bodies fall under the amended Reservoirs Act 1975, necessitating accurate volume calculations. This applies to landowners, farmers, and organizations like the National Trust. The integration of the HydroSurveyor M9 system into the ARC-Boat revolutionises the assessment process, making it faster, safer, and more cost-effective. For owners of smaller reservoirs, the survey costs become a manageable expense rather than a burden.

Expanding Applications: Integrating Water Quality Monitoring

Taking the HydroSurveyor M9’s capabilities a step further, this innovative system can be seamlessly paired with an EXO Water Quality Sonde to monitor the water quality in reservoirs. By combining rapid reservoir surveys with real-time water quality tracking, this integrated approach provides a comprehensive understanding of reservoir conditions and event source identification. This not only enhances the assessment process but also enables reservoir managers to make informed decisions about water quality management, ensuring the sustainability and health of these vital water bodies. The HydroSurveyor M9, coupled with water sampling technology, emerges as a holistic solution for reservoir assessment and management.

To learn more about HydroSurveyor M9 or for any further information, feel free to contact us.

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