Advice for hydraulic master thesis.


I’m a civil engineering student and I’ve always had a special interest for electronics, sensors, and arduinos.

I’m finishing my degree for which I have to develop a thesis. After some research and based on some articles, I proposed to my hydraulics Professor to monitor the solids transportation (at the bottom of a river) using a hydrophone.

This idea consists on measuring the intensity/quantity of sediments (like rocks and muds) passing through a certain spot. These measurements are made using a hydrophone put underneath a seel plate – when the sediments pass beneath this plate they create impulses or frequencies, which will then be analyzed. What I would like to know is the best way to capture these frequencies through the hydrophone – mobile recorder, daw, arduino? I intend to connect the hydrophone to the computer, either through the arduino or through a sound plaque, but I’m afraid these solutions are more prone to the appearance of noise.

The frequency range to analyze is between 10Hz and 30kHz.

Will it be a good solution to connect the hydrophone to the arduino?

Another issue in my mind is the handling of the data gathered – should I use excel, matlab or python?

Thanks, Carlos Esteves

Will it be a good solution to connect the hydrophone to the arduino?

I would suspect that an arduino would be a poor candidate for interfacing with a hydrophone for signal analysis. A micro with a faster and more resolution ADC and internal hardware DSP support capabilities is probably a better choice. At least that is my opinion.


If it's practical to use a computer then I would have thought that a USB microphone with a suitable frequency range would be the best approach. I would guess that you need to do some clever analysis of the audio stream and an Arduino isn't a good platform to either do the analysis itself, or provide a high quality audio stream to somewhere else. Get the audio data straight to a PC and you can do your Fourier analysis or whatever else you want to do there. The best way to handle the data will depend on what type of analysis you need to do - unless you already know that, I suggest that figuring that out should be your top priority as everything else will hinge on that.

Hi, Thanks for the answer,

Yes is pratical to use a computer, that was my first thought, in use a audio Interface I/O soundcard (I have a edirol UA-25 and m-audio fireware 410) conected to a laptop but in conversation with the person who sold me the hydrophone, he advised me to take care with the noise generated by these audio interface, and it could be better a professional field recorders/pre-amps.

The only reason I refer in use an arduino is because I will have 2 more sensors, one water pressure and a ultrasonic, that will measure at the same time with the hydrophone.

Thanks, Carlos Esteves

Rasperry Pi?