What is a sonde

Sensor clusters by another name

A sonde is a type of instrument that is used for environmental monitoring. It typically consists of a sensor or set of sensors that are used to measure various parameters, such as temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity. These sensors are typically connected to a data logger or other data collection device, which is used to store and transmit the data that is collected. This data can then be used to make informed decisions.

Why are they useful

The reason that sondes are important and useful is because some data such as some water chemistries can only be determined by having a sensor physically in the water, meaning that satellites, etc cannot directly measure that aspect of water quality. Additionally it’s infeasible to send people to a location every 30 mins to get a sample, which is why sondes make a measurement and log it for someone to collect ad download later (data logging) or transmit their data in real-time.

Where are they used

Sondes are commonly used in a variety of different settings, including in freshwater and marine ecosystems, as well as in potable water networks. They can be used to monitor water quality, track changes in water chemistry, and detect the presence of pollutants or other contaminants. They can also be used to track the health of aquatic ecosystems, such as monitoring the population of fish or other aquatic species.

Sondes are often used in combination with other monitoring tools and techniques, such as remote sensing and modeling, to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the environment. They are also used in conjunction with data analysis and management software to analyze the data, identify patterns and trends, and inform decision-making. If you’ve seen even a snippet of a report on water quality, the data, very likely, came from sondes deployed to the area of interest.

In short, sondes are a valuable tool for environmental monitoring, as they allow for continuous, real-time monitoring of water systems, and provide a wide range of data that can be used to understand the health of the ecosystem and help make informed decisions about how to manage and protect it. They also collect information critical to optimising potable/drinking water networks, their maintenance and so human health.

6th February 2023
Tom McNamara


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