A low-cost, low-power water velocity sensor utilizing acoustic doppler measurement

Stephen Catsamas, Baiqian Shi, Boris Deletic, Miao Wang, David T. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Current commercial sensors to monitor water flow velocities are expensive, bulky, and require significant effort to install. Low-cost sensors open the possibility of monitoring storm and waste water systems at a much greater spatial and temporal resolution without prohibitive costs and resource investment. To aid in this, this work developed a low-cost, low-power velocity sensor based on acoustic Doppler velocimetry. The sensor, costing less than 50 USD is open-source, open-hardware, compact, and easily interfaceable to a wide range of data-logging systems. A freely available sensor design at this price point does not currently exist, and its novelty is in enabling high-resolution real-time monitoring schemes. The design is capable of measuring water velocities up to 1200 mm/s. The sensor is characterised and then verified in an in-field long-term test. Finally, the data from this test are then used to evaluate the performance of the sensor in a real-world scenario. The analysis concludes that the sensor is capable of effectively measuring water velocity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7451
Number of pages17
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • acoustic Doppler velocimetry
  • field verification
  • low cost
  • low power
  • open hardware
  • real-time environmental monitoring
  • sensor design
  • stormwater monitoring
  • urban water
  • water velocity

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