Riverine Drifter

Remote buoy data collector 

QinetiQ North America’s Riverine Drifter is a low-cost, free-floating data collection buoy that travels with the river current to collect depth and temperature as a function of position. The Riverine Drifter provides near real-time insight into river conditions that might otherwise pose a challenge to tactical operations required to maneuver in an unknown environment.

The Riverine Drifter can be deployed by hand or dropped from an aircraft or UAV into a stream or river of interest. As the Riverine Drifter travels downstream it gathers river current, depth and temperature and transmits the acquired data via Iridium Communication Satellite for up to 24 hours for analysis on any standard issue computer. Optionally, the Riverine Drifter can store the data internally for later retrieval. For single use applications the Riverine Drifter requires no operational maintenance giving it true “Launch and Leave” capability.

  • Assists with critical missions
  • Enhances situational awarenss
  • Deployed by hand, low-flying aircraft or UAV
  • Launch and leave capabilities
  • Remote data transmission
  • Free floating
  • Physical Dimensions:  6 inches in diameter
  • Weight: < 4 lb
  • Communications:  Iridium Modem (standard) RF (i.e., Bluetooth/ WiFi) (optional)
  • Diagnostics:  Automatic when powered on
  • Operational Life:  ~24 hours


  • Depth Range: 0.5 to 137 m
  • Depth Accuracy: +/- 0.1 m
  • Temperature Accuracy:+/-0.5° C


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