Echo Sounder
Bathymetry of waterways, lagoons, lakes, ponds, harbors
Dredging planning and monitoring
Construction planning
TSF (Tailing Storage Facilities) monitoring
Sediments monitoring
Applications of the Echo Sounder System
Mapping water depths and sediments before dredging and cleaning in shallow or seaweed ponds, lakes, rivers, and canals
River and lake bottom profiling for scientific investigations and environmental monitoring
Flood inundation mapping
Underwater inspections for engineering works (bridge or pipeline crossings)
Mapping the sediments of oxidation and tailing ponds
Sludge volume measurements at waste stabilization ponds
How it works
The integrated drone system for bathymetry consists of a drone (UAV) integrated with Echo Sounder. The full integration is ensured by adding the onboard computer SkyHub to the system. Adding a laser/radar Altimeter to the system enables the drone to precisely follow the terrain based on the data received from the altimeter. The drone's flight is planned and managed using the full functionality of UgCS.
You can choose between a ready-to-use system or components like the SkyHub integration kit for self-assembling.
Drone base echo sounder icon
Echo sounder
Three types of echo sounders are applicable based on the water depth, required sensitivity, and water properties.
Supported drones
DJI M300, M350, M210, M600 series of-the-shelf drones
UAV's based on DJI A3 or Pixhawk autopilots with ArduCopter/PX4 firmware
Sensor's data logging is started automatically and geotagged with GPS coordinates from the autopilot
Laser or Radar altimeter to fly automatically in terrain-following mode
The flight planning and control software UgCS displays the Sensor's status data and the drone's current trace
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Deploy anywhere
Ideal for hard-to-reach locations (steep coasts, mining pits, shallow waters, terrain obstacles), as well as waters of ponds, lakes, and canals. There is no need for a broad entry point to the water for deployment/recovery
Save time
Drone-based bathymetric surveys are 10 times faster and 2 times more cost-efficient than a standard approach using a ship, a boat, or an unmanned surface vehicle
Operate in harsh conditions
The system works in a hazardous environment, which humans cannot approach freely. A drone operates without water contact. Therefore, lakes and rivers with strong currents, as well as contaminated waters, become measurable
Precise measurements
The drone's precise positioning while following the survey routes and ability to fly at a constant speed and specified low altitudes result in high-accuracy measurements
Case Studies
More Use Cases
White Paper
Read the White Paper “Bathymetry using UAV: accuracy concerns” by SPH Engineering CEO Alexey Dobrovolskiy
Read the White Paper “Bathymetry using UAV: accuracy concerns” by SPH Engineering CEO Alexey Dobrovolskiy
In hydrography and surface-water hydrology, traditionally dominated by boats and terrestrial methods, there is a growing presence of UAV-based solutions incorporating echo sounders for bathymetric data collection. In 2020, SPH Engineering introduced a system integrating an echo sounder with a UAV, delivering these systems to numerous customers worldwide, raising questions about accuracy, repeatability, and feasibility, which this article aims to address by examining the accuracy of measurements with a drone and an echo sounder on a rope.
Data Samples

The echo sounder system records data in three standard formats:

  • NMEA0183 as the most common and convenient for the processing format
  • SEG-Y files with full echosounder data
  • CSV files

Discover the datasets for all three standard types of drone based echosounders by SPH Engineering.

All Data Sets
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