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Instrumentation Evaluations

The HIF evaluates equipment and instruments in an effort to ensure that these devices will meet the requirements of the USGS for hydrologic data collection. These requirements include accuracy, performance under a wide range of environmental conditions, and cost effectiveness.

USGS lab technician holding a water-quality sonde and looking at a computer screen
HIF hydrologic technician performs quality assurance (QA) testing on a water-quality multi-parameter sonde received from the factory. QA testing verifies that the sonde collects and transmits water-quality measurements accurately. (Credit: Joanne Jones, USGS)

Equipment and instruments selected for evaluation must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Unmet measurement need
  • Reduces ownership costs
  • Replaces discontinued/obsolete equipment
  • Increases equipment choice and types
  • Reduces initial equipment cost
  • Improves safety

Equipment and instrument evaluations usually involve testing in environmental chambers or at field sites. Evaluations are usually conducted following test plans that allow for observation of the performance of the device over most, if not all, of its stated temperature range. For devices that measure a specific quantity (for example pressure or specific conductance), the test plan also will provide for exposing the device to a significant portion of, if not the entire, stated range of measurement for the quantity being measured. This document provides guidance for selecting and conducting evaluatoins of hydrologic instruments and equipment.

Current Evaluation List

HACH Ott MF Pro Electromagnetic velocity meter
TRDI Vertical ADCP Fixed vertical velocity acoustic profiler
Seba AquaProfile M-Pro Velocity profiler on a wading rod with depth
FTS Ubicorm (cellular) Radio
Sutron CDMALink (cell) Radio
Campbell CR6 logger Logger
Wellntel Non contact well level
Xylem Nile radar Radar water level sensor
LISST ABS Acoustic sediment sensor
pHenom New pH technology
Campbell CS475 Radar Radar water level sensor
FTS LT1 DCP Small inexpensive logger, IOT based
Iridium Radio Test Test of multiple (3-4) Iridium transmitters
FTS Bubbler Bubbler
Campbell SBS500 Rain Gage Rain gage
Hydrolab HL7 Multiparameter sonde
Manta 30 & 20 Water quality multiprobe
Ayyeka Wavelet IOT logger
Campbell CCFC Camera Camera for observation/velocity
CTD-Diver Small CT sensor
Campbell CR310 Logger Small logger with updated software interface
KPSI 601 Ceramic submersible presser sensor
Sutron Geo Antenna Omni-directional antenna with GPS

Last updated February 2023.

Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.