SonTek M9

SonTek ADCP Training Series

Visit our comprehensive video training page for practical insights on site selection, compass calibration, handling moving bed situations, and efficient data export methods and more!

SonTek M9 Brochure

SonTek M9 Manual

Technical Service Bulletin: FTDI USB/Serial Adapter Connection Issue

HYPACK Environmental Mapping Brochure

Application of Index Velocity in Complex Flow Conditions

The Annual Hydrograph of the Ruki River

Dam Removal in Washington Yields Flow Management Challenge

Irrigation Efficiency Crucial for Ensuring Sustainable Water Resource

Stream Flow Data Improve Greenland Ice Melt Models

Beam Separation in ADPs and ADCPs

Velocity, Range, and Snell's Law

Discharge and Bathymetric Data Collection of Sinar Mas Forestry Plantation Canals in Indonesia

Clever Kayak Rig Navigates Tricky Bathymetry Challenge

Clearer Views - Flow Data Will Help Springs Recovery

Sliver River Sonar

SonTek M9 SmartPulseHD Feature

Compass Calibration Procedure for SonTek M9

Jag Ski Creates Versatile Platform for Bay Study

Lower Colorado River Authority Data Delivers On-the-Spot Forecasts

Quantifying Flooding Events with Acoustic Data Scientific Response in a Changing Climate

Principles of Extrapolation and Screening of Velocity Profiles

Remote Bathymetric Survey in Kalgoorlie Mine Pits, Australia

Establishment of a Hydrographic Monitoring Site in Australia

HydroSurveyor Enables Rapid Indian Railways Bridge Surveys

HydroSurveyor Enables Rapid Reservoir Surveys

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The SonTek M9 is the ultimate solution for collecting both discharge data and conducting bathymetric surveys. The industry validated and reliable M9 is an all-in-one ADCP, seamlessly combining the durability of the award-winning RiverSurveyor-M9 with the adaptable bathymetric capabilities of the HydroSurveyor-M9, offering unparalleled data collection flexibility.

Say goodbye to complicated adjustments during extreme events - the M9 automatically handles varying water levels, changes in velocity structure, and multiple applications. And, when you team-up the M9 with our top-notch HYPACK© Environmental Mapping software, it transforms into the ultimate all-in-one solution

  • Overview

    Award-winning ADCP Technology

    The SonTek M9 is the trusted choice for leading environmental water monitoring agencies globally, setting new standards in the ADCP industry. It earns its accolades as the pioneer ADCP utilizing multiple frequencies, powered by SonTek's exclusive SmartPulseHD® technology. This groundbreaking innovation ensures consistently accurate measurements across various depths, from shallow to deep waters, solidifying its reputation for reliability.

    M9 Applications Include:

    • Discharge measurement
    • Index velocity calibration
    • Flow/volume delivery verification
    • Ground truthing discharge models
    • Habitat studies
    • Watershed flux and loading
    • High-definition velocity profiles 

    • Reservoir surveys and capacity predictions
    • Bathymetric volume calculations
    • Velocity mapping
    • Reconnaissance tool
    • Sediment flux detection
    • Longitudinal river surveys
    • Geomorphology studies

    Features  Benefits
    Multiple acoustic frequencies Balances the highest resolution with the greatest range of depths and flow velocities.

    Vertical acoustic beam
    i.e. echosounder

    Superior channel definition for both bathymetric and discharge applications. Extends maximum discharge depth when bottom-tracking is out of range.

    SmartPulseHD® An intelligent algorithm that looks at water depth, velocity, and turbulence automatically adapts to conditions using pulse-coherent and incoherent techniques. High-definition cell size down to 2 cm.
    Microprocessor computed discharge and secure data

    Discharge computations using RiverSurveyor Live software are simultaneously done within the M9 and on the host computer. Data is not lost if communication temporarily drops out.

    Standard 360° compass and two-axis tilt sensor Compensates for vessel motion due to surface conditions. It provides velocities in Earth coordinates and magnetic error feedback in real-time and post-processing.

    Ping rates to 70Hz, averaged to 1Hz data output

    High ping rates ensure extremely robust data collection. Ping distribution based on data collection mode – discharge or bathymetry.


    Acoustically track vessel speed over ground and ship track independent of GNSS/GPS (optional). Also supplies redundant depth measurement.

    Differential GNSS* (optional) Geo-referenced position from dual-frequency, multi-constellation with SBAS as an alternative to bottom tracking for moving bed or other difficult situations.
    RTK GNSS* (optional)

    Ultra-precise geo-referenced position that can be used as an alternative to bottom tracking for moving bed or other difficult situations. Benchmark tie is available in HYPACK® software.

    Sound speed correction with the CastAway-CTD (optional)

    The built-in temperature sensor is used for sound speed calculations. Optional use of CastAway-CTD interpolates sound speed in space and time with RiverSurveyor Live and (optional) HYPACK® software.

    *GNSS- Global navigation satellite system is a general term describing any satellite constellation that provides positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services on a global or regional basis.

    Other reasons our customers love the M9!

    • No tagline/tape measure required: With RiverSurveyor Stationary Live, automatically measure the distance between stations with DGPS or RTK GPS-equipped systems.
    • Manual configuration: Now, you can set blanking distance, cell size, and several cells for moving boat measurements.
    • Real-time QA/QC warnings: Know when a problem could happen before it occurs.
    • Zipped files: New and improved compression and auto-decompression, faster access to large amounts of data.
    • Sample filter: Remove your random velocity outliers with ease.

  • Specifications
    Velocity Measurement Metric    Imperial/English     
    Profiling Range (Distance) 0.06 to 40 m, environmentally dependent 0.2 to 131 ft
    Accuracy Up to +/- 0.25% of measured velocity; ±0.2cm/s                                  +/- 0.078 in/s
    Profiling Range (Velocity) ± 20 m/s1 ± 66 ft/s
    Resolution 0.001 m/s 0.0032 ft/s
    Number of Cells Up to128
    Cell Size 0.02 to 4 m 0.06 to 13 ft
    Transducer Configuration

    Nine (9) transducers;
    Dual 4-beam 3.0 MHz/1.0 MHz Janus at 25º slant angle;
    0.5 MHz vertical beam echosounder

    Depth Measurement     
    Range 0.20 to 80 m 0.66 to 262 ft
    Accuracy 1% [0.02% with a full water column sound speed correction]
    Resolution 0.001 m 0.003 ft
    Discharge Measurement
    Range with Bottom-Track 0.3 to 40 m 1 to 131 ft
    Range with GNSS/GPS 0.3 to 80 m, extrapolated beyond 40 m  1 to 262 ft
    Computations Internal      
    Internal Recorder Size 8 GB
    Bathymetry Measurement
    Range 40 m (skew beams) to 80 m (vertical beam) 131 to 263 ft
    Velocity Profiling Range ± 10 m/s ± 32.8 ft/s
    Computations Software
    Temperature Sensor

    ± 0.01° C

    ± 0.018° F
    Accuracy  ± 0.1° C ± 0.18° F
    Compass/Tilt (Solid State Type)
    Range 360°
    Heading Accuracy ± 2°
    Pitch/Roll Accuracy ± 1°
    Power/Communications (No Telemetry)
    Input Voltage 12 - 18 VDC
    Communication Type RS232 direct      
    GNSS/GPS Communication RS232 serial input
    Max Data Output Rate 1 Hz                                
    Internal Sampling Rate Up to 70 Hz
    Physical Properties
    Depth (Pressure) Rating 30 m 164 ft
    Operating Temperature -5 to 45° C 23 to 113° F
    Storage Temperature

    -10 to 70° C

    14 to 158 ° F
    Weight in Air

    2.3 kg

    5 lb
    Weight in Water

    -0.6 kg

    -1.3 lb
    Power Communications Module (PCM)     
    Communication Type 2.4 GHz radio
    Battery Type Standard AA batteries2
    Average Duration 8 hours of continuous use (6 hours with RTK)
    Radio Range3 Standard (10 dBm) - High (22 dBm)
    Base to Rover 1000 m - 3000 m 3281 ft - 9843 ft
    PC/tablet to Rover 400 m - 1500 m 1312 ft - 4921 ft
    GNSS/GPS Options
    SBAS GNSS Horizontal Accuracy5 <1.0 m < 3.3 ft
    RTK GNSS Horizontal Accuracy5 <0.02 m < 0.066 ft
    RTK GNSS Vertical Accuracy4,5 <0.04 m < 0.131 ft

    Additional Notes

    1Please contact SonTek for accuracies better than 1%, or velocities >10 m/s.

    2Standard AA batteries are defined as alkaline or NiMH rechargeables, with a diameter up to 14.5mm.

    3High power may not be available in all countries; all ranges with default 2 dBi antenna and line-of-sight.

    4Requires absolute RTK solution. Only available with HYPACK software.

    5Depends on multipath environment, antenna selection, number of satellites in view, satellite geometry, and ionospheric activity.

  • Accessories

    SonTek M9 Communications Cable

    Communications Cable

    SonTek M9 Antenna

    2.4-GHz Antenna (2 dBi)

    SonTek M9 GPS Antenna

    DGPS / RTK GPS Antenna

    SonTek M9 GPS Antenna Cable

    Extension Cable

    SonTek M9 Battery Holder

    Battery Holder

    SonTek M9 Tripod Spacer

    Tripod Spacer

    SonTek M9 Radio Antenna Mounting Bracket

    Antenna Mounting Bracket

    SonTek M9 Battery Slot Endcap

    Battery Slot Endcap

    SonTek M9 Mounting Bracket

    Mounting Bracket

    SonTek M9 Power Supply

    Power Supply

    SonTek M9 Rechargeable Batteries

    Rechargeable Batteries

    SonTek M9 Battery Charger

    Battery Charger for AA NiMH batteries

  • Software

    Display. Process. Analyze.

    RiverSurveyor Live (RSL) - V 4.3
    RiverSurveyor Stationary Live (RSSL) - V 4.3
    Utilities - V 4.3

    New Improvements!

    • Added Indonesian language support
    • Now includes brand new PCM3 compatibility.
    • New GPS hardware in the PCM and RTK Base allows for automatic switching between DGPS and RTK mode when a base station is present and paired.

    Other recent fixes include:

    • Matlab export – now handles large *.riv/*.rivr files.
    • Matlab export – Fixed Transmit length and blanking distance units.
    • Salinity warning changed from 35ppt to 45ppt
    • The USGS screening distance option is disabled for S5
    • Matlab auto-export is disabled if there are missing samples

    Get ready to be impressed during your measurements and afterward with RiverSurveyor Live (RSL) software. It boasts multi-language support, catering to a diverse range of users. Choose from languages including Afrikaans, Bahasa Indonesia, Catalan, Chinese, English (UK & US), French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish to suit your preferences.

    Moving Boat: RiverSurveyor Live

    • Real-time QA/QC in the field - get feedback while measuring to ensure the highest quality data.
    • Enables you to efficiently navigate from one bank to the other with a full contour plot of the water velocity profile and bottom bathymetry.
    • View multiple data streams (bottom-track, vertical beam, GNSS-GGA, and GNSS-VTG) simultaneously.
    • Built-in USGS Loop Correction Method and Stationary Moving Bed Analysis for moving bed assessment.

    Stationary: RiverSurveyor Stationary Live 
    (Mid-section or Mean-section)

    • Additional software program that uses traditional USGS/ISO mid-section or mean section methods.
    • GNSS/GPS distance between stations or manually enter the location on the tagline. Mix and match GNSS distance or manual stations as needed.
    • An alternative to the moving boat method for highly turbulent areas or moving bed environments.
    • Measures under ice!
    • An option when measurement sections are braided or have islands.

    RiverSurveyor S5/M9 Firmware - V 4.10

    RiverSurveyor S5/M9 firmware for use with all versions of RiverSurveyor LIVE and RiverSurveyor Stationary LIVE. Note: SonTek recommends updating the PC software prior to upgrading the M9/S5 firmware

    • Corrects date/time update issue

    IMPORTANT: For more detailed information, download the firmware file, unzip it and read the Release Notes for complete installation instructions.


    HydroSurveyor Software - V 1.50

    The user-friendly HydroSurveyor software package offers a central recording and processing platform that allows users to develop bathymetric maps with modest accuracy using properly gridded data points. Features include CastAway-CTD integration, data gridding and interpolation, automatic track switching, and a central recording platform.

    HYPACK Environmental Mapping

    HYPACK Environmental Mapping (HYPACK-E) is a dynamic new software designed for ADCP users without a survey background. This allows for the tracking of changes in aquatic ecosystems over time, enabling proactive responses to emerging challenges. Seamlessly integrating with the M9, HYPACK-E transforms raw data into insightful visual representations. This empowers users to analyze underwater terrains, flow regimes, habitats, and pollution levels with unparalleled clarity and precision. Upgrade to HYPACK Max if you have additional requirements such as side scan or lidar data collection.  

    Dive into HYPACK-E’s user-friendly interface! We've made it super simple to handle complicated tasks and boost your experience, making it quicker and easier for both beginners and pros!

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    Get the Software and Firmware

  • Video

    RiverSurveyor: Collecting Acoustic Stationary and Moving Boat Discharge Data

    You might have heard about some of the big upgrades to the powerful, multi-frequency RiverSurveyor-M9, but we didn’t want you to take our word for it – the proof is in the data – and we want to share examples on how RiverSurveyor 4.0 has dramatically simplified the data collection process for hydrologists and water monitoring specialists like you!

    Getting Started with HydroSurveyor and HYPACK Chapter 1 | Starting a Project and Choosing Settings

    This is the first video in a series on how to navigate HYPACK software for use with the SonTek M9. For the more information visit our video resource page

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