Hidrosonico is a sonar-based stream gauge, which reads the distance between the sensor (specifically from where the housing meets the threading) and the water’s surface directly below and sends this data at specified intervals to cloud-based storage, SMS, and/or email as determined by the user. The product was designed to aid in collection of hydrological data and for flood early warning in developing countries.
It has been implemented already in countries such as Cambodia, Honduras, Nepal, and Indonesia.Interview with manufacturer
DAI Maker Lab is the manufacturer, located in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
Distributions to Date Status
The most updated code website has 75,000 subscribers.Interview with manufacturer
The code provided sends data to data.sparkfun.com as the cloud service but it could be easily adapted to any other provider. There are also lines in the code that are marked for user-specific input. The system takes the mode of a series of seven readings to determine the stream height. If that height exceeds an alert level (yellow and red alert levels designated for each location) then it enters a validation routine where it takes five clusters of seven readings over the course of 25 seconds to make sure they agree that an alert level has been reached. If any of the modal readings dissents, then the alert is not triggered. The idea is to filter out things like passing birds or plastic bags caught by the wind.Interview with manufacturer This is a beta unit. Technical specifications: About the sensor MB7369 HRXL-MaxSonar-WRM:
- Weather resistant (IP67)
- Matches standard electrical 3/4-inch PVC pipe fitting for easy mounting
- Detects the largest signal return in the field of view
- Uses the complete dynamic range of the sensor, if no large targets are present the sensor will select the net smallest target in the view.
- Maximum range of 765 cm
- Long range, narrow detection zone
- Length: 71.09 mm
- Width: 43.84
- Weight: 49.66 g
- Operates from 3.0-5.5 V
- Operational temperature: -40ºC to +70ºC (-40ºF to +160ºF)
The manufacturer is open to provide technical support for any interested parties, whether commercial or non-commercial.Interview with manufacturer
For the whole system there is not a defined lifecycle, but there are systems that have been installed for three years with continued operation.Interview with manufacturer on 07/01/2019 MB7369 HRXL - MaxSonar - WRM: 200.000+ hours mean time between failure
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
Enable underserved communities to have an early flood warning system.
Vetted Performance Status
Conclusion of Master's thesis at Johns Hopkins University: The system is materially comparable to USGS installation, but more expensive.Interview with manufacturer
On existing cases the devices have been mounted on the side of a bridge, so they are not too difficult to get for the technicians and are therefore not a high safety concern.Interview with manufacturer
Complementary Technical Systems
Academic Research and References
Hollenbach, A., 2016, Managing Water Resources in an Era of Hydrological Uncertainty: The Application of Low-Cost, Open Source Environmental Sensors, Msc. Environmental Science, Krieger School of Arts and Science, Johns Hopkins University.
Compliance with regulations
The manufacturer has recently discovered that the code has to be adapted to ignore big animals (like elephants) that may pass by the sensor.