RiverSurveyor® S5 and M9

RiverSurveyor M9 and Hydroboard II - UK

4.0 is HERE! This is some pretty big news for RiverSurveyor-M9 users, and those that want to be! RiverSurveyor Live 4.0 software release is set for November, and we thought you might want to know about some of the big benefits coming your way:

  • 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!

The patented and award-winning RiverSurveyor®, S5/M9 systems give a new perspective to the notion of measuring open channel hydraulics. Using SonTek's exclusive SmartPulseHD®, multiple acoustic frequencies are fused with precise bandwidth control for the most robust and continuous shallow-to-deep discharge measurements ever. A deterministic microcontroller expertly apportions the proper acoustics, pulse scheme, and cell size to get the highest definition possible so you can focus on the measurement, not the instrument setup. The system even has a vertical beam for precise channel definition and it's all designed to work intuitively.

And just like the name implies - SmartPulseHD (just like your TV) lets you see the clearest velocity picture possible with cell sizes down to 2 cm.

  • 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

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


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. Technical Overview.

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.