SonTek FlowTracker2 Handheld-ADV

FlowTracker2 How to Make the Highest-Quality Measurements Using a Wading Device

Better data means better decision-making – often in situations that are critical and time-sensitive.

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The SonTek FlowTracker2 handheld Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV®) is a handheld, portable, and precise wading discharge measurement instrument.

We know our users love and trust the technology with the original FlowTracker, but we wanted more! The FlowTracker2 now comes with functional, modernized features such as Bluetooth, GPS, and a large color screen, to name only a few. The enhancements came directly from the evaluation and feedback from hydrologists, researchers, and scientists who have made the FlowTracker their instrument of choice.

  • Overview

    Portable. Precise. Practical. 

    The real advantage becomes clear from the moment you start to collect data. Each step of the way, FlowTracker2 guides you along the measurement process with visual prompts and SmartQC audio alerts just in case something important needs your attention. FlowTracker2 handheld software is intuitive, easy to navigate, and includes real-time plots of point data, QC parameters, and measurement verticals, giving you everything you need at-a-glance. Get defensible data correctly, the first time, every time, and minimize data handling back at the office.

    man using the flowtracker2 acoustic doppler velocimeter in florida

    Whenever and Wherever You Need

    With rugged construction for any climate and multiple display options for both day and night, FlowTracker2 goes whenever and wherever you need it to go. This includes: 

    • Natural Streams, Open Channels & Lakes
    • Irrigation Canals
    • Mining Channels
    • Water Treatment
    • Storm Water
    • Weirs / Flumes

    FlowTracker2 uses SonTek’s tried-and-true ADV technology, vetted for decades by experts across the globe in hydraulics labs and wide-ranging field environments. Improved and perfected for FlowTracker2, the acoustic-based ADV sensor offers unparalleled accuracy, particularly in low flow and any wading device's shallowest water. 2-D data in the horizontal plane (2D/3D option available) allows the most comprehensive QC and understanding of flow conditions. User calibration is never required, and 24/7 tech support from SonTek and our worldwide team is only a call away.

    At its core, FlowTracker2 uses SonTek’s tried-and-true ADV technology, vetted for decades by experts across the globe, in hydraulics labs, and wide-ranging field environments.  Improved and perfected for FlowTracker2, the acoustic-based ADV sensor offers unparalleled accuracy, particularly in low flow and any wading device's shallowest water.  2-D data in the horizontal plane (2D/3D option available) allows the most comprehensive QC and understanding of flow conditions.  User calibration is never required, and 24/7 tech support from SonTek and our worldwide team is only a call or click away.

    Some of the major improvements featured in FlowTracker2 come straight from field users like you. Here is a shortlist of time-saving, fool-proof features:

    • Embedded GPS for georeferencing with automatic or manual fixes
    • Improved ADV acoustics: faster pinging, lower noise, and better standard error
    • Battery life icon on the screen at all times.  Pre-load the spare cartridge and replace it, even mid-measurement, with no data loss
    • Detachable probe with extension cables to customize cable length up to 10m
    • Probes and handhelds are interchangeable—flexibility within agency teams and when sending equipment for service
    • Set up and save templates—no need to re-enter data every time you visit a site
    • Bluetooth or a direct USB interface with a PC
    • Audio prompts

    There is a lot to get excited about when using the new FlowTracker2 handheld. Intuitive workflow and rich graphics make for a modernized, interactive experience. Now you can:

    • Rely on FlowTracker2 to automatically conform to proper methods based on depth
    • View beam check or QC plots directly - know immediately if you have signal or beam blockage problems
    • Get real-time plots of velocity and other parameters
    • Enter comments and gage heights with any station
    • View a running discharge summary
    • See an image of a top-set wading rod
    • View an on-screen tilt sensor
    • Edit data

  • Specifications

    SmartQC is a built-in quality control feature that gives you the added assurance your FlowTracker data is correct. With each measurement, data is compared to a variety of adaptive QC criteria to ensure the best measurement possible.

    Probe Specifications  
    Acoustic Frequency 10.0 MHz
    Velocity — Range

    ±0.001 - 4.0 m/s (±0.003 to 13 ft/s)

    Velocity — Resolution 0.0001 m/s (0.0003 ft/s)
    Velocity — Accuracy

    +/1% of measured velocity, +/- 0.25cm/s

    Weight in air 0.90 kg (1.98 lbs)

    Weight in water

    0.30 kg (0.66 lbs)

    Sampling Volume Location

    10 cm (3.93 in) from the center transducer

    Minimum Depth 0.02 m (0.79 in)
    Depth Measurement Range

    0 to 10m (0 to 32.81ft)

    Depth Measurement Resolution 0.001m (0.003ft)
    Depth Sensor Accuracy +/- 0.1% of FS (temperature compensated over full operating range)

    +/- 0.05% Static (steady-state at 25°C)

    -Additionally compensated for real-time
    water velocity, temperature, salinity, and altitude.
    Temperature Sensor Resolution: 0.01° C, Accuracy: 0.1° C
    Tilt Sensor Resolution: 0.001°, Accuracy: 1.0°
    Communication Protocol RS-232
    Operating/Storage Temperature -20° C to 50° C (-4° F to 122° F)
    Probe Head Dimensions (L)13.3 cm (5.22 in)
    (W) 6.1 cm (2.39 in)
    (H) 2.3 cm (0.90 in)
    Standard Cable Length 1.5 m (4.92 ft)

    Handheld Specifications  
    Input Battery Voltage 8-12 VDC
    Power Supply

    8 X AA Batteries

    Battery Life 11 hours continuous use, typical settings1
    Power Consumption

    1 W (Average)

    Weight in air 0.75 kg (1.65 lbs)

    Weight in water

    -0.25 kg (-0.55 lbs)

    GPS: H. Position Accuracy

    Up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) nominal2

    GPS: Frequency L1 (1.575 MHz)
    SBAS compensation (WAAS, EGNOS, MSAS, GAGAN)
    LCD Resolution

    320 X 240 TFT Transmissive

    Bluetooth Class 2, Range = 10 m (33 ft) nominal
    USB Micro USB, IP-67
    Battery Power to Probe

    8-12 VDC

    Data Transfer RS-232
    Data Storage 16 GB. Up to 10k discharge measurements
    Up to 10 million velocity samples
    Operating Temperature Alkaline Batteries: -20° to 45°C (-4°F to 113°F)
    NiMH: -20° to 50°C (-4°F to 122°F)
    Storage Temperature -30° to 70° C (-22° F to 158° F)3
    Waterproof Rating IP-67 (1m submersible)
    Handheld Dimensions (L)10.4 cm (4.1 in)
    (W) 6.4 cm (2.5 in)
    (H) 23.7cm (9.3 in)

    1Defined as power on with screen on at 100% brightness, ADV sensor pinging 50% of the time, GPS off, and no sleep periods. Actual battery life will vary depending on FT2 settings, manner of use, and brand of battery.
    2Ideal conditions and settings. GPS data are intended for approximate georeferencing and site ID.
    3Remove batteries from FlowTracker2 handheld if storage temperatures exceed the operating temperature of Alkaline and NiMH batteries as stipulated above.

  • Accessories
  • Software

    FlowTracker2 Software - PC

    Comprehensive tables and time series graphs allow you to visualize and QC data during analysis. Change SmartQC criteria and edit data—yet rest assured the original file will always remain untouched. FT2's open-source JSON file format is ready to be read into any organization's database, and is supported with direct import to Hydstra and WISKI.

    FLOWTRACKER2 — V 1.9

    Graph, view, analyze, and edit data collected with the FlowTracker2 instrument, and generate reports using the Windows-based FlowTracker2 software. Station data as well as point measurements can be edited, yet the original data file will always be preserved. View beam checks and perform many other diagnostic and QC checks whose criteria can also be manipulated in software settings. Generate or edit template files in the office which can be uploaded to the FlowTracker instrument and used to save time in the field. Export data to *.CSV format or import the FlowTracker's open-souce JSON files directly to databases.

    Recent Improvements Include:

    • Handheld keypad programming modification to prevent accidental and unintended keypad lockup. Recommended for all users.
    • Handheld electronics revision resulting in an expected battery life of approximately 11 hours of continuous use under normal operating conditions.

    Recent updates also Included:

    Handheld Software

    • Improved work flow and display for under ice measurements.
    • Station number now included in title bar at each point measurement so you always know what station you are at and how many you’ve performed.
    • The maximum number of templates has been increased to 100 so you can store your entire agency’s site information for quick measurement set-up

    Desktop Software

    • The mean velocity calculation in the discharge summary is now based on Q/A (and not the measured mean of all stations).
    • User can now enter manual temperature and salinity values in the supplemental data/
    • Additional valuable information has been added to the discharge summary: beam check plots, start/end time.
    • Improved software speed

    FlowTracker2 software includes language support for English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Japanese, Korean, Polish, Catalan, Romanian and Greek. A built-in multi-language translator tool can be used to customize software for additional languages and regional terminology.

    • Microsoft Windows 7 or newer.
    • 1GHz processor or better (2 GHz recommended).
    • 2GB memory (4GB recommended).
    • 500 MB available disk space (1GB recommended).
    • Monitor capable of 1024x768 resolution, or better.

    Get the Software and Firmware

  • Video

    FlowTracker2 Training Chapter 1

    During this instructional video, you will get a step-by-step through the measurement process and show you all the basics of how to set up the FlowTracker2 handheld ADV, how to conduct a measurement, and how to understand the data and quality control parameters you'll be able to view--right on the instrument's color screen.

    Getting Ready to Take Your First FlowTracker2 Measurement

    It's the ABCs of ADVs with Dr. Daniel Ritter! If you missed the LIVE demo on Instagram, catch the short rebroadcast here. Dan will walk you through what to expect to find in your FlowTracker2 kit, how to set up the wading rod, and the basics of a beam check.

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