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Archive Transmitters

ARC800 Sensor Fish

Make your dam more fish-friendly.


Hydropower provides over 6% of the United States’ electricity, mostly from large hydroelectric dams. Most of these large dams will soon need to be relicensed. This includes evaluating and often reducing a dam’s environmental impact.

One of the evaluations examines how well fish are able to withstand passage through the dam. ATS now offers a solution for dam owner/operators to help provide data needed to make that evaluation: the Sensor Fish.

The Sensor Fish is a small autonomous device that analyzes the physical conditions fish experience as they pass through dams and other hydro structures. This synthetic “fish” is helping existing hydroelectric dams, and new, smaller hydro facilities become more fish-friendly. The measurements derived from Sensor Fish can improve the environmental performance of hydropower.

The Sensor Fish was designed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and it's design has been licensed to ATS, Inc.  A paper authored by PNNL researchers provides complete details of the Sensor Fish and its design. Further, PNNL makes available to Sensor Fish users the Hydropower Biological Evaluation Toolset software package (HBET), at nominal cost. The software allows you to input your data, and then models mortality outcomes for varying types of dams, turbines, and fish species. Contact your ATS Consultant for complete details.


  • Hydro turbines such as Kaplan, Francis, and gravitation water vortex turbines
  • Small hydropower, pumped storage hydroelectric facilities
  • Spillways, irrigation structures, and pumping stations

On-board Sensors

  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • Acceleration
  • Gyroscope, to measure stresses place on small fish


Length: 90 mm (3.5 in.)
Diameter: 25 mm (1.0 in.)
Weight: 43 gr (1.5 oz.)

Example of the pressure, acceleration, and rotational velocity data collected by the Sensor Fish device during passage through a Kaplan turbine.

Data Recorded

  • Approximately 5 minutes of data with flash memory (turbine passage is usually less than 2 minutes)
  • 2,048 measurements per second
  • Up to 174 pounds per square inch of pressure


  • Acceleration up to 200 times the force of Earth’s gravity (200 Gs)
  • Temperatures between -40 and +260 degrees Fahrenheit


Neutrally buoyant. Automatically floats to surface at end of test by dropping a small pair of environmentally-friendly weights


Four multi-color LED lights for diagnostics and status


An integrated VHF Transmitter can be tracked in order to retrieve the Sensor Fish

Physical and Sensor Specifications

Physical Dimensions
89.9 x 24.5 mm
1.01 mg/mm³
Excess mass (wet weight)
0.5 g
Sensor Sampling rate
2048 Hz
Maximum sampling time
4 min
3D acceleration
0 - 200 g
3D rotational velocity
0 - 2000 ˚/s
0 - 203 psia
Temperature sensor
-40 - 125 ˚C
Frequency range, VHF
30.000 - 166.999 MHz


Optional: R410 Telemetry Receiver

Ordering Information

Specify VHF frequency range, 30-166 MHz


One year parts and labor on materials and workmanship.

Features and specifications subject to change without notice.


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