SonTek - a Xylem brand RiverSurveyor® family  

Sontek RS5


RS5 - the latest addition to the award-winning RiverSurveyor® family of discharge instruments. 

The RS5 system fits in the palm of your hand and includes everything you need to make a discharge measurement. Get the package that includes the HydroBoardII Micro and you’ll have everything you need for the fastest, high-quality measurement possible. It is the smallest and lightest complete ADCP solution for moving boat discharge measurement available. Simply fold the GNSS/antenna mast and pop the RS5 and board into the custom designed backpack for easy transportation and minimal re-assembly between sites.

  • Features
  • Specifications
  • Documents

Vertical acoustic beam

Superior channel definition for the most accurate channel cross-sectional area, for discharge applications. Measures the depth directly under the system and extends maximum discharge depth if bottom-tracking is out of range.


An intelligent algorithm utilizing Pulse-coherent and Broadband acoustic profiling that automatically adjusts based on conditions. Reliable bottom tracking and velocity profiling through a wide range of conditions and shallower than ever before. Visualize velocity data like never before with cell sizes down to 2.5 cm.

360º compass and two-axis tilt sensor

Comes standard on the RS5 unit. Reports vessel heading, magnetic error and compensates for motion due to surface conditions.


Acoustically track vessel speed over ground independent of DGNSS. Also supplies secondary depth measurement.

RTK GPS (Coming Soon!)

Ultra precise positioning as an alternative to bottom tracking in moving bed or other difficult situations.

DGNSS (Option)

Integrated DGNSS smart antenna for position as a backup or alternative to bottom tracking in moving bed or other difficult conditions. Geolocate each sample (or ensemble) during measurement. Utilizes multiple constellations for increased global precision (GPS, SBAS, GLONASS, BeiDou, GALILEO, QZSS).

Water Velocity Profiling

Profiling Range: 0.1-6 m (*1)
Velocity Range: ±5 m/s
Accuracy (*2): 1% ±0.002 m/s
Resolution: 0.001 m/s
Number of Cells: Up to 128
Cell Size: 2.5-30 cm
Data Output Rate: 1.0 Hz

Bottom Tracking              

Depth Range: 0.1-6 m (*1)
Accuracy: 1% ± 0.002 m/s
Resolution: 0.001 m/s

Depth Measurement

Range 0.1-6 m (*1)
Accuracy 1% ±0.005 m


Temperature Sensors   

Resolution: ±0.01°C
Accuracy: ±0.5°C

Compass/Tilt Sensor      

Range: ±180° Pitch/Roll, 0-360° Heading
Heading Accuracy: ±2°
Pitch/Roll Accuracy: ±1°


Total Number Five: 3.0 Mhz
Beam Angle: 25°
Beam Width: 3°
Bandwidth: 25%

Battery Characteristics  

Input Voltage: 3.3-4.2 VDC
Power Source - Li-Ion    
1x size 18650, Tenergy, Type 30016-04, 3.7Vdc, 2600mAh
Battery Life - 1 x size 18650   
Seven hours continuous use, typical settings (*3)
Power Consumption: 1.0 W (Average)
Dimensions: 19.2 mm x 69.7 mm


Radio Protocol, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE5)
Range: 100 m (*4)
Bluetooth Compliance
ISED Certification: 8595A-NINAB30


Operation Temperature: -5° to 45°C (23°F to 113°F)
Storage Temperature: -20° to 70°C (-4°F to 158°F)
Storage with Battery Temperature: (*5) -20° to 45°C (-4°F to 113°F)

RS5 Physical Properties

Dimensions - HBII Micro: 76 cm (30”) x 50 cm (20”) x 11cm (4.25”)
Dimensions - RS5 Unit: 24 cm (9.5”) x 5 cm (2.2”)
Weight in Air - RS5 Unit: 0.45 kg (1.0 lbs)
Weight in Water - RS5 Unit: 0.15 kg (0.33 lbs)
Weight in Air - RS5/HBII Micro/Geode: 3.63 kg (8.0 lbs)
Waterproof Rating: 3.63 kg (8.0 lbs)


Horizontal RMS
SBAS (WAAS): <0.3 m (0.98 ft)
SBAS (WAAS): <0.6 m (1.96 ft)
Frequency: L1, Multi-GNSS

*Additional notes
1 Maximum range will vary with environmental conditions.
2 Bottom velocity accuracy.
Seven hours continuous use, typical settings.
When using provided SonTek USB radio with antenna.
5 Remove batteries from the RS5 if storage temperatures exceed the storage temperature of the Li-Ion battery.