Instrument Selection Guide

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Click on any of the images below to learn more about each SonTek acoustic Doppler instrument. Need more information specific to your unique application? Scroll down a bit more for our side-by-side application comparison chart.

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Argonaut-ADV®

Single-point velocity data
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SonTek®-SL Series

water velocity and level in open channels
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Argonaut®-XR

near shore deployments
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CastAway®-CTD

handheld castable CTD
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Designed for coastal profiling, the CastAway-CTD® incorporates a 6-electrode conductivity cell, coupled with a fast response thermistor to provide highly accurate, high resolution CTD measurements to depths of 100 m. Now Integrated with HYPACK!

NOW AVAILABLE: The CastAway-CTD educational curriculum with emphasis on ocean chemistry for use by high school and university level instructors who wish to provide students:

  • The theory behind SALINITY: why is the ocean salty and how is salinity measured?
  • What is the Law of Constant Proportions and how does it apply to salinity?
  • Hands-on CastAway field activity emphasizing proper scientific data collection procedures;
  • Post-field work analysis of CastAway data and comparisons to global ocean temperatures and salinity data-sets available online;
  • Conservative and non-conservative elements;
  • Residence Time worksheet for tracers;
  • and more!

>> DOWNLOAD LESSON PLAN  (CastAway-CTD serial number required)

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FlowTracker2® Handheld-ADV®

Wading Discharge Measurement
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 The FlowTracker2 (FT2) handheld Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV®) has all the technology you have grown to know and trust with the original FlowTracker, but now comes with functional, modernized features   (Bluetooth, GPS and large color screen, to name only a few) based on the evaluation and feedback from hydrologists, researchers and scientists who have made the FlowTracker their instrument of choice.

Download the brochure for the FlowTracker2 Lab ADV®!

 But the real power becomes clear from the moment you start to collect data. Each step of the way FT2 guides you along the measurement process with visual prompts and SmartQC audio alerts just in case something important needs your attention.

 FT2 handheld software is intuitive, easy to navigate and includes real-time plots of point data, QC parameters, and measurement verticals, giving you everything you need at-a-glance.  Get defensible data correctly, the first time, every time, and minimize data handling back at the office.

With rugged construction for any climate and multiple display options for both day and night, FT2 goes whenever and wherever you need it to go.

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SonTek-IQ® Series

monitor flows in open channels, canals, pipes and culverts
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Ideal for monitoring flows in canals, culverts, pipes, and natural streams, the SonTek-IQ starts with a custom flow algorithm derived from hundreds of field measurements. Four velocity beams profile water velocity along both the length and width of the channel, to ensure best possible coverage and most accurate representation of the velocity field. The built-in pressure sensor and vertical acoustic beam work in tandem to measure water level. Simply input the channel geometry using the intuitive SonTek-IQ software and you are outputting flow data in minutes.

All stainless steel hardware makes the IQ even more capable in difficult environments such as stormwater and certain wastewater where corrosion is a potential concern.

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HydroSurveyor™

5-beam depth sounding
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RiverSurveyor® S5 and M9

measure open channel hydraulics

Guide Me - Products by Application Focus

Whether you are looking to collect flow data in rivers, streams or canals, or you need current profiles in deeper ocean environments, SonTek has an array of instrumentation that can be used in any body of water, at various depths. Here is a side-by-side comparison to help point you in the right direction!

  • Hydrology - Surface Water
  • Oceanography
  • Laboratory
Focus: Instantaneous Measurement Argonaut-ADV SonTek-SL Argonaut-XR CastAway FlowTracker HydroSurveyor RiverSurveyor S5 / M9 SonTek-IQ Series
Moving Vessel Discharge             Yes  
Wading Discharge Measurements         Yes   Yes  

Focus: Continuous Monitoring Argonaut-ADV SonTek-SL Argonaut-XR CastAway FlowTracker HydroSurveyor RiverSurveyor S5 / M9 SonTek-IQ Series
Irrigation channels / Canals   Yes         Yes Yes
Open Channel Flow Yes Yes Yes       Yes Yes
Velocity Indexing Yes Yes Yes   Yes   Yes Yes
Pipes Culverts               Yes
Natural Streams & Rivers Yes Yes Yes   Yes   Yes Yes
Storm Water Yes Yes           Yes
Marshes Yes Yes Yes   Yes     Yes
Flood Alert Yes Yes Yes         Yes
Water Treatment Yes Yes           Yes
Water Supply Yes Yes Yes         Yes
Pollution Monitoring Yes Yes Yes         Yes

Focus: Research Argonaut-ADV SonTek-SL Argonaut-XR CastAway FlowTracker HydroSurveyor RiverSurveyor S5 / M9 SonTek-IQ Series
Shallow Water / Low Flow Yes       Yes   Yes Yes
Tidal / Marsh Studies Yes Yes Yes   Yes   Yes Yes
Mixing Yes   Yes   Yes   Yes Yes
CTD       Yes        

Focus: Surveying Argonaut-ADV SonTek-SL Argonaut-XR CastAway FlowTracker HydroSurveyor RiverSurveyor S5 / M9 SonTek-IQ Series
Fish Screen Yes       Yes      
Flow / Current Field Yes   Yes   Yes   Yes  
Bathymetry           Yes Yes  
Reservoir Mapping           Yes Yes  
Sound Speed       Yes        

Features Argonaut-ADV SonTek-SL Argonaut-XR CastAway FlowTracker HydroSurveyor RiverSurveyor S5 / M9 SonTek-IQ Series
2D/3D Currents 3D 2D 3D   2D or 3D 3D 3D 3D
Acoustic Backscatter Standard Standard Standard   Standard   Standard Standard
Current Profiling   Standard Standard     Standard Standard Standard
CTD Profiling       Standard        
Discharge / Flow   Standard Standard   Standard   Standard Standard
Range Integrating   Standard Standard         Standard
Single Point Standard       Standard      
Water Level / Stage   Standard Standard         Standard

Integrated & External Systems Argonaut-ADV SonTek-SL Argonaut-XR CastAway FlowTracker HydroSurveyor RiverSurveyor S5 / M9 SonTek-IQ Series
Acoustic Level   Standard           Standard
Bottom-Tracking           Standard Standard  
Internal Data Recorder Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard   Standard Standard
Compass / Tilt Sensor Optional Varies by Model Optional     Standard Standard Standard
Optical Backscatter Sensor                
Pressure Sensor Optional Optional Standard Standard       Standard
SeaBird CT Sensor   Varies by Model Optional          
Temperature Sensor Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Conductivity Sensor       Standard        
Focus: Open Ocean Argonaut-ADV SonTek-SL Argonaut-XR CastAway HydroSurveyor
Moorings        
Offshore Platforms Yes Yes      

Focus: Coastal Region Argonaut-ADV SonTek-SL Argonaut-XR CastAway HydroSurveyor
Surf-Zone / Turbulence          
Sediment Transport Yes        
Near-Shore Currents Yes Yes Yes    
Bottom boundary Layer Yes        
Estuaries / Shallow Water Yes Yes Yes    
CTD Profiling       Yes  

Focus: Ports & Harbors Argonaut-ADV SonTek-SL Argonaut-XR CastAway HydroSurveyor
Navigation          
Bottom Tracking / Moving Vessel          
Tide / Elevation Yes Yes Yes    

Focus: Waves Argonaut-ADV SonTek-SL Argonaut-XR CastAway HydroSurveyor
Directional          
Non-Directional   Yes Yes    


Focus: Surveying Argonaut-ADV SonTek-SL Argonaut-XR CastAway HydroSurveyor
          Yes
Reservoir Mapping         Yes
Sound Speed       Yes  

Features Argonaut-ADV SonTek-SL Argonaut-XR CastAway HydroSurveyor
2D/3D Currents 3D 2D 3D   3D
Acoustic Backscatter Standard Standard Standard    
Bottom Tracking / Moving Vessel         Standard
Current Profiling   Optional Standard   Standard
Discharge / Flow   Standard      
Range Integrating   Standard Standard    
Single Point Standard        

Integrated & External Systems Argonaut-ADV SonTek-SL Argonaut-XR CastAway HydroSurveyor
Compass / Tilt Sensor Standard Standard Standard   Standard
Internal Data Recorder Standard Standard Standard Standard  
Optical Backscatter Sensor          
Pressure Sensor Optional Standard Standard Standard  
Pressure Sensor - High Accuracy     Optional    
SeaBird CT Sensor     Optional    
Temperature Sensor Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Conductivity Sensor       Standard  
Applications FlowTracker2
Boundary Layer Yes
Flow Fields / Mapping Yes
Flumes Yes
Low Flow Yes
Model Verification Yes
Turbulence Yes
Wave Studies Yes

Features FlowTracker2
2D/3D Currents 2D or 3D
Acoustic Backscatter Yes
Maximum Sampling Frequency 2Hz

Integrated & External Systems FlowTracker2
Compass / Tilt Sensor Tilt
Internal Data Recorder Yes
Pressure Sensor Optional
Temperature Sensor Standard