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Acoustic Backscattering System - ABS Sensors

The AQUAscat 1000 which is used in the GWK for studies on suspended particle concentrations represents a new generation of high frequency acoustic instrumentation. It has applications in sediment transport studies, including measurement of suspended sediment profiles, ripple bed morphology, precision altimetry, dredge plumes and turbulence.

The AQUAscat transmits pulses of high frequency sound on up to four transducers, each of which may operate at a different frequency. It measures the sound scattered by sediment or other suspended materials at discrete spatial intervals programmable from around 2½ millimetres to several centimetres.

The use of multiple frequencies allows good estimates of particle size distribution to be made.

Type / Model

AQUAscat 1000L                       

Measured variable

Suspended particle concentration in [g/l]

Sediment range 

Typically 20 µm to 2000 µm radius / 0.1 g/l to 20 g/l over 1 m, or more over shorter range

Range of measurement

150 cm (typical), up to 20 m below 2MHz depending on model

Sampling rate range

100 Hz max pulse rate for each frequency


Digital output (RS232 / USB)




AQUAtalk Software, AQUAview Software, MATLAB® Toolkit

Further Information