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Make my own depth sensor

  1. Nov 19, 2013 #1

    I am building an underwater quadcopter and I need a depth/altitude sensor for the platform to automatically keep the same altitude above the seabed.

    I have done some research and I could not find anywhere an off the shelf depth sensor so I figured that I will make one myself, so I guessed either an infrared sensor or sonic sensor. What would work better under water? I think the infrared would probably be best but I am unsure.

    From what I found, I would need an IR emitter, a phototransistor, a resistor and a battery but I have no idea how to put everything together.

    Does anyone know how to make a cheap depth sensor by any chance?

    Thank you very much for any help!

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    How are you thinking to use IR to sense how far you are above the bottom?

    Think about how "fish finders" work. What technology do they use to show the boaters what is below their boat?

    Look at the inexpensive rangefinder units that use ultrasound to measure distances to walls, etc., for home improvement projects. See if you can adapt one of them for use in water...
  4. Nov 19, 2013 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

  5. Nov 19, 2013 #4
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