Ping Sonar Altimeter and Echosounder operation tethered to airborne drone

Hi guys
First time post of this informative forum
A Client has asked us to map a long section and cross-sections of a meandering open drain which is difficult to access and stretches over 18km.
The first mission will be simply to undertake visual reconnaissance (video).
The second mission will be to undertake an aerial mission to create a 3D model of the corridor.
The thirst mission will be to undertake water depth measurements approximately ever 200m (doesnt have to be exact, but enough to get a sense of the long section profile - this is where the Ping Sonar Echosounder comes in. Our first though is a 10m tethered line from the Phantom 4. At the bottom of the tethered line would be a foam platform with Ping Sonar mounted underneath it and the required Arduino and battery system on-top. The drone would descend until the foam platform hit the water and we may drag it across the surface in cleared areas for say 10m to get a good echosounder sample. As the drone is GPS coordinated, we know where the sample are taken from.
So my question is:

  1. can anyone please provide me with the weight of the Ping Sonar which I cannot find?
  2. I notice that the Echosounder has a min 0.5m range. We actually dont know how deep this drain is (estimating 0.2m to 2m). If it is less than 0.5m, is there simply no data returned?
  3. does the echosounder need to be fully submerged to operate? just wondering if i can embed it into the foam which would sit on top of the water level
    Thanks in advance
1 Like

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the post! That sounds like an interesting and difficult project.
To answer your questions:

  1. The in air weight of the Ping is around 100g without taking into account the cable. The rest of the weights are listed on the technical details tab of the product page.
  2. If the actual range is shorter than the minimum range of the sonar it will continue to output erroneous values but with a low confidence value.
  3. No, as long as the transducer face is completely submerged it should work. I recommend mounting it in a way that will guarantee no air bubbles are trapped on the face of the transducer.

I hope this clears up your questions, let us know if there’s anything else!



I am performing a similar project and I would like to know whether this project was successful and if we can possibly chat about the configuration?