RiverSurveyor® S5 and M9

RiverSurveyor M9 and Hydroboard II - UK

NEW! rQPOD Remote Boat Surveying Package

Taken to Incredible Extremes. 

The RiverSurveyor S5/M9 is a river discharge measurement system without the traditional limitations. Small, portable, and easy to use, the patented and award-winning RiverSurveyor measures in extreme flood or drought situations within a single instrument, and without changing user settings. The results speak for themselves - the RiverSurveyor S5/M9 has revolutionized the way discharge is measured in rivers and canals. 

Multiple acoustic frequencies with SmartPulseHD® make for the most robust and continuous shallow-to-deep measurements ever and an array of four deterministic microcontrollers expertly apportion the proper acoustics, pulse scheme, and cell size allow users to focus on the measurement - not the setup. The system even has a vertical beam for accurate channel definition and it’s all designed to work intuitively. Slow to fast, shallow to deep, the RiverSurveyor S5/M9 handles it all on the fly.

Display. Process. Analyze. 

The RiverSurvery S5/M9 will exceed your expectations during and after the measurement with the RiverSurveyor Live! software suite for both PC and mobile platforms. All programs take full advantage of SmartPulseHD and the intelligent software ensures no loss of data during telemetry dropouts, with multi-language support available. Easily switch between computer or mobile devices during mid-measurement. Several quality indicators and statistics with selectable graphics provide instant feedback on data collection. 

Get More Value. 

The RiverSurveyor S5/M9 systems just keep on getting better. Our engineers continue to improve and build upon the award-winning technology, with features to include:

  • No tagline/tape measure required: With RiverSurveyor Stationary Live, automatically measure distance between stations with DGPS or RTK GPS equipped systems.
  • Manual configuration: Now you can set blanking distance, cell size and number of cells for moving boat measurements.
  • Real-time QA/QC warnings: Know when there could be a problem before there is one.
  • Zipped files: New and improved compression and auto-decompression, providing faster access to large amounts of data.
  • Sample filter: Remove your random velocity outliers with ease.

Interested in enjoying safe, remote-controlled surveying? With the rQPOD remote boat surveying package you can! The rQPOD system is sold as a complete kit from SonTek and includes a Torrent Board V7 floating platform, patent-pending motorized system. Combine this lightweight convertible platform with a RiverSurveyor-M9 or S5 to measure flow or a HydroSurveyor-M9 and measure bathymetry. This portable solution truly is ready wherever you need it! 

  • Features
  • Specifications
  • Software
  • Power Communications Module


  • Multi-Band - Multiple acoustic frequencies1,2
  • Vertical acoustic beam1
  • SmartPulseHD®3
  • Internally computed discharge and secure data1
  • Standard 360º compass and two-axis tilt sensor
  • Reverberation control with ping rates to 70Hz
  • Bottom-tracking
  • RTK GPS (optional)

1 U.S. Patent #8,125,849
2 U.S. Patent #8,411,530
3 U.S. Patent #8,780,672


  • Balances the highest resolution with the greatest range of depths
  • Superior channel definition, extends the maximum measurable discharge depth
  • An intelligent algorithm that looks at water depth, velocity and turbulence, and then acoustically adapts to those conditions using pulse-coherent, broadband, and incoherent techniques. High-def cell sizes down to 2 cm.
  • All discharge computations are done within the S5 or M9 unit internally (not in the computer!) – No lost data from communications drop outs
  • Compensates for vessel motion due to surface conditions.
  • High ping rates ensure extremely robust data collection.
  • High precision vessel tracking and depth measurement without GPS requirement.
  • Ultra precise earth-referenced positioning as an alternative to bottom tracking in moving bed or other difficult situations.
Specification S5 M9
Profiling Range — Distance 0.06 to 5m 0.06 to 40m
Profiling Range1 — Velocity ±20 m/s ±20 m/s
Velocity1 — Accuracy ±0.25% of measured velocity
±0.25% of measured velocity
Velocity — Resolution 0.001 m/s 0.001 m/s
Number of Cells Up to 128 Up to 128
Cell Size 0.02 to 0.5m 0.02 to 4m
Transducer Configuration Five (5) Transducers Nine (9) Transducers
4-beam 3.0 MHz
Janus 25° Slant Angle
Dual 4-beam 3.0 MHz/1.0 MHz
Janus 25° Slant Angle
1.0 MHz Vertical Beam Echosounder 0.5 MHz Vertical Beam Echosounder
Depth — Range 0.20 to 15 m 0.20 to 80m
Depth — Accuracy 1% 1%
Depth — Resolution 0.001 m 0.001 m
Discharge Measurement Range — Bottom-Track 0.3 to 5m 0.3 to 40m
Discharge Measurement Range — RTK GPS 0.3 to 15 m 0.3 to 80 m
Discharge Measurement — Computations Internal Internal

1Please contact SonTek for accuracies better than 1% or velocities >10 m/s

RiverSurveyorLIVE Screenshot

RiverSurveyor LIVE (RSL) — v 4.1 — 07JUL2018

NEW Improvements!

  • Salinity warning changed from 35ppt to 45ppt
  • USGS screening distance option is disabled for S5
  • Matlab auto-export disabled if there are missing samples

Other recent fixes include:

  • Matlab export – now handles large *.riv/*.rivr files.
  • Matlab export – Fixed Transmit length and blanking distance units.

Exceed your expectations both during and after measurement with RiverSurveyor LIVE software (now optimized for Dell Venue 8 tablet). RSL v4.1 is a Windows 7/8 compatible package with the latest advancements for open channel hydraulics visualization. This software includes language support for English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Catalan, French, German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Turkish, Polish, Hungarian Afrikaans and Russian.

RiverSurveyor LIVE with SmartPulseHD™ contains intelligent algorithms that look at water depth, velocity and turbulence, and then adapts the acoustic pulse scheme to those conditions. See the clearest velocity picture possible with cell sizes down to 2 cm!

RiverSurveyor S5/M9 Firmware — v 4.10 — 17AUG2018

New RiverSurveyor S5/M9 firmware for use with all versions of RiverSurveyor LIVE and RiverSurveyor Stationary LIVE. Note: SonTek recommends updating the PC software prior to upgrading the M9/S5 firmware

  • Corrects date/time update issue

IMPORTANT: For more detailed information, download the firmware file, unzip it and read the Release Notes for complete installation instructions.

RiverSurveyor Screenshot

RiverSurveyor Software — v 4.60 — 05Jul2007

(NOTE: Please refer to "RiverSurveyor LIVE" software for use with RiverSurveyor S5 & M9)

ADP real-time and postprocessing software for discharge data applications - typically rivers, streams, estuaries. Requires down looking, mobile, bottom-tracking ADP (with or without GPS). Includes the RiverSurveyor System Manual.

A software license is required to run this program, which requires that the ADP has the bottom-track option. If your ADP has the bottom-track option installed, but you have not received a software license to run RiverSurveyor, you can request a RiverSurveyor software license.

Important: If you have a version of RiverSurveyor that is earlier than v4.20, we recommend that you UNINSTALL the "old" version before installing the "new" version. This is REQUIRED for any of our beta testers.

Request a License

FlowPack Screenshot

FlowPack Software — v 1.21 — 18Feb2013

Become an instant velocity-indexing pro! FlowPack allows you to generate easy to interpret Velocity-Index ratings. Promising to make your data reporting process a whole lot friendlier (and faster), FlowPack also provides a simple method to store flow, velocity, and stage measurements — all through one software program. FlowPack can produce comprehensive reports that assist you in making better, more informed decisions.

Get software

Radio Frequency: 2.4 GHz

  • Optional Bridge interface module will provide a Bluetooth interface between the 2.4 GHz radio in the PCM and a computer or tablet.


  • Type: Standard AA batteries1
  • Average duration: 8 hours of continuous operation (6 hours with RTK GPS enabled)

GPS Options:

  • SBAS GPS Horizontal Accuracy2: <1.0m
  • RTK GPS Horizontal Accuracy2: <0.02m ; Vertical Accuracy <0.04m2,3
Range (Std.; 10 dBm)4 Range (High; 22dBm)4
Base to Rover 1000 m 3000 m
PC to Rover 450 m 1500 m
Bridge to Rover 200 m 400 m

1Standard AA batteries are defined as alkaline or NiMH rechargeables, with a diameter up to 14.5mm.
Depends on multipath environment, antenna selection, number of satellites in view, satellite geometry, and ionospheric activity.
3Requires absolute RTK solution. Only available with HydroSurveyor
High power may not be available in all countries; all ranges with default 2 dBi antenna and line-of-sight.

Options & Accessories

SonTek rQPOD

rQPOD Remote Surveying Package

The rQPOD includes mechanized hardware that when installed on a floating platform, transforms it into a motorized vehicle for remote shore operation and collection of ADCP data. MORE...


Castaway CTD Kit

Each Castaway kit includes a hard plastic storage/shipping case, Polyurethane jacket, 15m deployment line, Bluetooth dongle, (2) locking carabineers, (3) magnetic stylus pens, and cleaning brush. Download Brochure.

Power Communications Module

Power Communications

Features operation from AA batteries, 2.4 GHz telemetry, and optional integrated DGPS, or RTK GPS.

HydroBoard II

Floatable Platform

The flexible design of the RiverSurveyor and HydroSurveyor systems enables use either over the side of a boat, or on a small floating/tetherable platform such as the SonTek Hydroboard or Trimaran. Watch Video or Download Brochure.



Easy to use and an incredibly precise, fully integrated position solution that can augment or be an alternative to bottom tracking.


SonTek RiverSurveyour S5


A grant from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administratio(NASA) Cryosphere Program is yielding fascinating data on glacial stream dynamics from the Greenland Ice Sheet. Correlating lake and stream bathymetry data with imagery from the WorldView2 satellite will help scientists to produce bathymetric maps that will allow them to estimate the volume of water that is stored in melt ponds and conveyed through stream channels on the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet, says Overstreet. Eventually, they hope to create a budget of ice and water under a full array of conditions.