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Distributor-Seminar Oceanology International 2008, London. Autonomous Remote Sensing of Water Level and Waves The LOG_aLevel ® - Systems. LOG_aLevel ® - The Robust, Economic and Accurate Water Level Gauge and Wave Measurement System via Ultrasound Technology

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Oceanology International 2008, London

Autonomous Remote Sensing of Water Level and Waves

The LOG_aLevel® - Systems


LOG_aLevel® - The Robust, Economic and Accurate Water Level Gauge and Wave Measurement System via Ultrasound Technology

What kind of Systems does the Market need?

  • Robust, Low Maintenance, Economic and Accurate Measurement Systems
  • Redundancy of Sensing Technology
  • Wave Measurements

Universal Selling Properties and Advantages of the LOG_aLevel®:

  • Robust, Maintenance Free, Cost Effective, Low Installation Effort, Portable
  • Calibration Free due to Outstanding Sound Velocity Compensation
  • Due to low Installation Effort and cost effective systems new measuring locations / aplications are possible
  • Accurate Level Measurement also at Wavy Surface
  • Accurate and High Resolution Wave Measurements
  • Solely Approved Remote Sensing Level Gage in Germany as an Alternate or Complement to Radar
log alevel applications clients and examples

Water level monitoring

Wave measurement and analysis, determination of Wave Parameters

Event Alerting System for a fast detection of Storm Tides, Floods or Tsunamis

Water reservoir management to measure highly accurate the water level

Mobile Operating Level Gauge

Complete hydrological and metrological monitoring station

Monitoring Discharger of e.g. Power Stations


Harbour-, River- and Coastal Authorities, EPAs

Research Institutes and Universities

Water Resources Authorities

Energy Producers

Dredging and Surveying Industry

Oil and Gas Industry

Commercial shipping

Tourist Industry

LOG_aLevel® - Applications, Clients and Examples



Billwerder Sperrwerk

Harburger Schleuse

Storm Tide Network at Port of Hamburg

  • Network consists of:
  • 4 LOG_aLevel Stations
  • Integration of wind sensor
  • Autonomous power supply (wind and solar)
  • Remote data transfer via GPRS


Controller housing

River Vienne, France



The Mobile LOG_aLevel®

  • Light weight
  • No Calibration
  • Easy to deploy and set-up
  • Robust and reliable

Selected LOG_aLevel® Customer Applications

  • Reliable water level measurement for keel- and/or bridge clearance
  • Hydrographical Survey support with precise water level, data transmission via radio to the survey vessel
  • Dredging operation support with precise water level, data transmission via radio to the survey vessel
  • Reliable Stormtide- and flood warning via SMS and level data access via VPN
  • Reliable and redundant water level measurement for sluice control
  • Long term water level monitoring on river for tourist management
  • Integrated water/wave level- and meteorological station
  • Monitoring of torrents (snow melting/heavy rain fall)
  • Increasing the density of water level station in a local inland water level network
  • Measurement of waves for evaluation of wave energy and estimation of loads for quay design
  • Wave measurement for a local wave model - Input and Validation
  • Wave and tidal monitoring for coastal protection
  • Measuring of ship induced waves for estimation of loads on shores
  • Reconstrucion of damages and causer identification based on level and wave measurement

Modular design of the LOG_aLevel

Optional Equipment

Standard Equipment

Telemetry Modules:

- Radio/GSM/GPRS/-LAN, 0-20 mA, etc.


PCMCIA Data Logger

Controller Module

RS 232/485 Output

- AC Power Supply

- Wind Generator

- Solar Panel

- Buffer-Battery

Sound velocity probe

12 V DC

Power Supply Module

External Sensors

-Wind, Pressure,

-Radar, Weather, etc.

Stainless steel housing

GPS synchronised RTC

(integrated in Controller)

LOG_aLevel Software

Display Module

log alevel in big housing
LOG_aLevel® in big housing
  • Modular Construction
  • Controller
  • Data Logger
  • Power Supply 12 V
  • Power Supply 230 V
  • 80 Ah Buffer Battery
log alevel the ultrasound sensor
LOG_aLevel® - The Ultrasound-Sensor

The Innovation:

Fast, precise and remote detection of waves and water levels

Sensor characteristics

  • Narrow sound beam ensures small footprint on water surface
  • Free of disturbing minor sound beams
  • Extraordinary high transmitting power and receiving sensitivity
  • Technical resolution: 0.360 mm
  • Accuracy in field operation: 1 cm
  • Sampling rate up to 5 Hz
  • Only 250 g weight
  • 6 m, 8 m and 10 m range available
  • Operating temperature: of -20 ° C to +70 ° C

Easy installation at any place

  • jetties, wharfs, sluices, embankment
  • beacons, dolphins, poles, bridges
  • buildings, platforms, etc.

LOG_aLevel® compared to common systems

Common Ultra-sound Sensors or Radar Sensor

log alevel controller and power supply
LOG_aLevel® Controller and Power Supply

Power ON/OFF switch

Power test button

Input: 12 V

Output: Controller Power

12 V for e.g. Radio

5 V for Data Logger

24 V for e.g. Wind Gauge

Controller module for signal processing and

sensor control/data acquisition (incl. Timer),

Digital data transfer via interface RS 232 or RS 485

and Data Logger output


LOG_aLevel® Reference-Sensor

Sound Velocity measurement due to the possible change of temperature, air pressure and humidity

By using the directly measured ultrasound velocity in air and the measured travel time it is possible to accurately compute the water level due to the continuously calibration.

log alevel additional power supply
LOG_aLevel®, additional Power Supply

Input: 100 V - 240 VAC /50/60 Hz

Output: 12 VDC; 3,5 A

Standard Lead-Gel-Buffer Battery 80 Ah will support the LOG_aLevel system with a current consumption of 500 mA for more than 6 days with power

Standard Wind Generator

200 Watts at 20 Knots

Standard Solar Panel

85 Wp = 340Wh/day

log alevel data logger module
LOG_aLevel® Data Logger Module
  • Standard card size 1 GB CF Industrial Grade, up to 2 GB cards supplied
  • In continuous mode at 5 Hz sample rate a 1 GB card has space for 6 months of data


The file with the level data is ALWAYS called "PEGEL.LOG" and MUST ALWAYS be in the directory of the data medium. It must be available on the data medium before the measuring campaign. The data logger is not able to create this file by itself.

The Compact Flash-Card may not be pulled out during operation. In such case, the level LOG_aLevel station must be turned off and then set again in operation.


LOG_aLevel® GSM/GPRS and Radio Module

GSM/GPRS transmission to dynamic DNS or fixed IP-Address via the internet

  • Licence or Licence-Free Versions available
  • Up to 50 Km range depending on Antenna, Power and Environment

LOG_aLevel® additional Modules and Sensors

Display Module to show the direct water level in the office, on a dredger or survey ship

RS232/485 converterto LAN

Analogue output Module

Anemometer to measure wind speed and direction and the virtual temperature

Multi-parameter weather station with the 6 most essential weather data

the log alevel software for data logging and control
The LOG_aLevel® - Software for data logging and control

Real-Time visualizing of Water Level and the Wave Parameter (H1/3)

how to set the log alevel adjustment level
How to set the LOG_aLevel® Adjustment Level
  • Execute a LOG_aLevel measurment with Adjustment level=0
  • The result is the distance between sensor and water surface in a negative value
  • Subtract from the actual local datum this value and use the result as Adjustment level for this station. So you get the exact tide level measured with the LOG_aLevel


Zero measurment= - 3 m (adj. Level=0)

Actual local datum: 4.5 m

4.5 m – (-3 m)= 7.5 m

With 7.5 m adjustment level, the LOG_aLevel will show the result 4.5 m actual tide level


log alevel questions and answers
When starting LOG_aLevel® Software, you receive “System Error, Code: 2”.

Reason: You have chosen the wrong COM Port in the LOG_alevel.ini.

Solution: Find out the right COM Port in your Windows Device Manager and change then in the LOG_aLevel.ini in row COMParams= port=X (1 is standard)

2. LOG_aLevel® does not start to measure

Reason: Battery has a too low voltage

Solution: Charge battery (without load about 13.5 V)

LOG_aLevel® does not start to measure and battery has been already charged

Check if sensor is “pinging” by listening at the sensor. If no, check cables and connectors. Press button at power supply to check voltage with blue light. Check fuse. If sensor pings, check if RS232 cable is the original crossed cable (pin 2 and 3 crossed).

4. LOG_aLevel® just starts for some seconds to measure, indicated by blue LED in SW

Reason: Controller was set by the software to “sleep mode”

Solution: Connect Laptop to controller, start software and change to continuous mode or periodic mode

5. LOG_aLevel® results only show value of adjustment level value

Reason: LOG_aLevel® sensor is not connected

Solution: check cables and connectors

LOG_aLevel® results show values too high

Reason: reference track is not working or connected

Solution: check in the data LOG-file if value for sound velocity is around c=33000. If c=22900, reference sensor does not work. Check reference sensor, cables and connectors.

LOG_aLevel® Questions and Answers
log alevel general advantages
LOG_aLevel® General Advantages
  • Calibration and maintenance free
  • Robust, precise, economical and compact
  • Modular system to fulfil different customer requirements and easy upgrade and maintenance due to simple exchange of modules
  • Reliable even under extreme conditions: flood, ice, storms, debris, fog, etc.
  • Low installation effort as stationary or mobile version
  • Accurate level measurements even with wavy surface
  • Redundancy or alternative to conventional level measurement techniques
  • Completely autonomous operation possible
  • Worldwide approved, tested and in operation
  • Easy to use Windows-Software for data logging and control
log alevel around the world
LOG_aLevel® around the World

LOG_aLevel is used on all continents in more than 28 countries under all possible environmental conditions


LOG_aLevel® Selected References

  • Rijkswaterstaat: Ministry of Transport + Watermanagement, (RIZA), The Netherlands
  • Port of Hamburg (Hamburg Port Authority), Germany
  • US-Army Corps of Engineers San Francisco District (USACE), USA
  • Project: North Sea Monitoring System: Government Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
  • Bundesanstalt für Gewässerkunde (BfG), Koblenz (Federal Institute of Hydrology), Germany
  • National Institute of Ocean technology (NIOT), India
  • Port of Le Havre (Port Autonome du Havre), France; Port of Seoul, Korea
  • MRTS, Varanday-Oil and Gas Terminal, Russia
  • Geofísica y Posicionamiento Satelital GPSCA, Maracaibo Lake, Venezuela
  • Ecologia, Vouneuil-sur-Vienne, River Vienne, France
  • Wasser- und Schifffahrtsamt Brandenburg (Waterways and Shipping Board), Germany
  • Bayer. Landesamt für Wasserwirtschaft (Bavarian Ministry of Environment), Germany
  • Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB-Berlin), Germany
  • Agency for Water Management, Coast and Nature Protection of Lower Saxony), NLWKN – Norderney, Germany and NLWKN – Brake, Germany
  • University of Moscow, Russia, University of Tallinn, Estonia
  • Flinders Ports, Australia
  • Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, United Kingdom
  • Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia