Water Quality Monitoring Services | Autonomous Water Vehicle Survey Services

Accelerate Your Water Monitoring Program

Imagine simultaneously collecting data for water quality, water velocity, water flow, bathymetry, and photogrammetry in a single day, with a single YSI technician! A contract with YSI can allow you to get all the benefits of the rQPOD or  HYCAT Autonomous Surface Vehicles and the i3XO EcoMapper Autonomous Underwater Vehicle - without the equipment budget, maintenance, personnel, and training that owners take on. When you let YSI drive, you'll enjoy all the benefits listed below!

YSI Vehicles | AUVs | ASVs | Services

YSI has worked with global experts to design vehicle platforms that are rugged yet affordable for environmental monitoring.

Remote Surface Water Vehicle

Collect water quality, discharge, hydrographic, and even side-scan sonar data from one vehicle! The rQPOD platform of remote surface vehicle systems offers water professionals the ability to run today's top sensors simultaneously for integrated, spatially, and temporally-aligned data sets.

rQPOD Remote Surface Water Vehicle

Remote Water Monitoring

Autonomous Surface Vehicle

Sensors have plug-and-play capabilities, allowing the HYCAT to be customized to your specific site needs. The HYCAT can also be easily deployed with two people in remote locations, not requiring ramp/dock launch access.

HYCAT Autonomous Surface Vehicle

Remote Water Monitoring

i3XO EcoMapper AUV
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

The next generation of autonomous water quality vehicles. The i3XO generates high-resolution maps of water quality, water currents, bathymetry, and sonar imagery.

EcoMapper Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

Remote Water Monitoring


Get more high-quality, spatial, and temporal data in one mission than ever before possible. With the i3XO EcoMapper AUV or the HYCAT ASV and rQPOD RSV, you can cover between 130-180 acres per day at a single depth when operating at the optimal speed of 2-3 knots. Multiple depths ("layers") are possible when you dive underwater with the i3XO EcoMapper. YSI technicians can adapt the speed to optimize resolution based on your project objectives.

Remote Water Monitoring


The top Xylem sensor technologies come together in a single-vehicle platform, but the autonomous and remote-control features take the tech to the next level. One can take control of the HYCAT remotely to modify a mission based on real-time visualization of data via HYPACK MAX software. The Inertial Navigation System (INS) on the i3XO EcoMapper AUV enables you to localize data points with 0.3% accuracy!


Make your project a winner by bringing our unsurpassed application expertise. From Korea to King County, Florida, our team has run missions with autonomous vehicles in canals, lakes, reservoirs, estuaries, and other environments. Each scenario brings unique requirements and risks. Save your team the ramp-up time associated with training and mastering this technology. Let YSI Drive!


Keep your people safely ashore while getting countless man-hours' worth of data. Certain environments are particularly hazardous—acid mine drainage, reservoirs, wastewater lagoons, and an industrial waste holding ponds are places where an unmanned vehicle is not just preferred but necessary. Protect your personnel (and ours!) by letting the vehicle do the work.

Why Use the rQPOD RSV?

The YSI rQPOD is a lightweight, easy-to-assemble propulsion system that can fit many board-style platforms. It allows users to collect data over a large spatial area in minutes and in areas otherwise inaccessible. The 2.4 GHz remote control allows operators to control the system from up to 250 meters with a clear line of sight, with real-time data visualization options that allow users to make mission changes and decisions on the spot.

  • Collect more spatial and temporal data in a single mission than ever before
  • Ultimate flexibility in sensor payload for water quality, bathymetry, discharge, and more
  • Easy on-site setup that's ready to run in 15 minutes or less
  • Marine-grade components for operation in tough environments

YSI offers water professionals the ability to purchase the rQPOD for installation on an existing platform or to purchase a complete package from YSI, including the board. YSI has purpose-built torrent boards for optimal stability, as they carry Xylem sensors where you want them. There are three unique torrent boards; TBX, TB, and DUO. The TBX is designed for the SonTek RS5 ADCP, providing it with a small, portable platform ideal for carrying from location to location. The standard TB is designed to work with 1 sensor, such as the SonTek M9 ADCP HydroSurveyor or any EXO Sonde. The DUO can carry the M9 and the EXO simultaneously, combining hydrographic and water quality analyses into one platform.

Why Use the HYCAT ASV?

The HYCAT is a one-of-a-kind autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) with different sensors and capabilities than the i3XO EcoMapper. Another distinction is that, since it is always on the surface, data can be visualized in real-time and mission planning can be adapted on the spot using HYPACK MAX software with a module designed just for the HYCAT. Some of the hallmark technology on the HYCAT includes:

  • A specially modified EXO2 water quality sonde, capable of holding any 7 EXO sensors
  • A SonTek HydroSurveyor M9 for hydrographic surveys
  • Hull-mounted side scan sonar for bottom mapping
  • An RTK GNSS Receiver for positioning and geo-referencing data

The HYCAT is being used globally. It has been used for pipeline surveys in international waters with a collection of bathymetry, side scan sonar, and water velocity data collected in a high-current environment. Harmful algal bloom mapping is a popular application with both i3XO and HYCAT, but the HYCAT can access shallow coves and shore areas where blooms often accumulate. Importantly, the onboard SonTek HydroSurveyor supports discharge measurements, one of the most popular applications and one that is not available with the i3XO. Other surveys utilized the side scan sonar for search and rescue and the EXO2 water quality sonde for sediment transport.

Why Use the i3XO EcoMapper AUV?

A key reason to use the i3XO EcoMapper AUV is when undulating, and below-surface water quality mapping is desired. By contrast, the HYCAT is a surface-only vehicle. The i3XO brings together an unprecedented array of sensor technologies on an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) of its size:

  • A specially modified EXO1 water quality sonde, capable of holding any 4 EXO sensors
  • Multi-beam, side-scan sonar for high-resolution mapping of the seafloor and surfaces
  • Advanced Doppler Velocity Log for bathymetry and downward-looking current profiling
  • An optional towable magnetometer, as well as the option to use an expansion port for additional sensors
  • A unique internal navigation system that enables 0.3% accuracy of distance traveled and geo-referencing of data points

Examples of work the i3XO has been used for include monitoring cooling ponds at iron mines for environmental contamination and turbidity to ensure compliance with local regulations. it has been used for the identification of unexploded ordnances and search and rescue missions. Dredging contractors have used floor mapping for depth, obstructions, and other details needed prior to dredging, to minimize impacts and guard safety. All sensors have supported spatial water quality profiling in estuaries, lakes, and rivers for teaching, research, and regulatory purposes.

Interested in additional water monitoring services such as monitoring station design and installation, monitoring station maintenance, or flow monitoring? If so, please visit our Water Monitoring Services page to see how we can help you.

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Additional Resources:

Customers have used our autonomous vehicles for everything from finding fish to finding sunken ships. Here are some featured stories about our AVs!