Tethered acoustic doppler current profiler platforms for measuring streamflow

Open-File Report 2003–0237
By: , and 



The U.S. Geological Survey tested and refined tethered-platform designs for measuring streamflow. Platform specifications were developed, radio-modem telemetry of acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) data and potential platform-hull sources were investigated, and hulls were tested and evaluated.

Different platforms, which included a variety of hull configurations, were tested for drag and stability at the U.S. Geological Survey tow tank and at a field site below a reservoir. The testing indicated that, although any of the designs could be used under certain conditions, trimaran designs provided the best all-around performance under a range of conditions. The trimaran designs housed the ADCP in the center hull; this resulted in lower drag than the catamaran designs and retained the stability advantage of catamarans over monohull designs. Waterproof radio modems that operate at 900 megahertz were used to communicate wirelessly with instruments at high baud rates.

A tethered-platform design with a trimaran hull and 900-megahertz radio modems is now commercially available. Continued field use has resulted in U.S. Geological Survey procedures for making tethered-platform discharge measurements, including methods for tethered-boat deployment, moving-bed tests, and measurement of edge distances.

Suggested Citation

Rehmel, M.S., Stewart, J.A., and Morlock, S.E., 2003, Tethered acoustic doppler current profiler platforms for measuring streamflow: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2003–0237, 20 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr03237.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Development of the Tethered Platform
  • Project to Refine the Tethered Platform
  • Tethered-Platform Discharge-Measurement Procedures
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Tethered acoustic doppler current profiler platforms for measuring streamflow
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2003–0237
DOI 10.3133/ofr03237
Year Published 2003
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Indianapolis, IN
Contributing office(s) Indiana Water Science Center
Description iv, 15 p.
Country United States
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details