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Table 3

Characteristics of the reference sensor and the three low-cost sensors assessed

Reference sensorLow-cost sensors

Brand OTT STMicroelectronics Unknown TE 
Model PLS VL53L0X JSN-SR04T MS5803-01BA 
Price range ∼$1,000 USD < $5 USD < $10 USD < $30 USD 
Type Pressure transducer laser-ranging module ultrasonic-ranging module Pressure transducer 
Output Analog current or SDI-12 I2Digital (voltage) I2C or SPI 
Meas. timea 2 s <200 ms 100 msb 8 ms 
Accuracya ≤ ±2 mm ≤ ±36 mmc ±10 mmb ±15 mm 
Rangea [0–4 m] [0–1.2] mc [0.02–6] mb [10–1300] mbard 
Installation Under water Above water Above water Under + above water 
Datasheet OTT (2018)  STMicroelectronics (2018) Jameco (2020) TE (2017) 
Reference sensorLow-cost sensors

Brand OTT STMicroelectronics Unknown TE 
Model PLS VL53L0X JSN-SR04T MS5803-01BA 
Price range ∼$1,000 USD < $5 USD < $10 USD < $30 USD 
Type Pressure transducer laser-ranging module ultrasonic-ranging module Pressure transducer 
Output Analog current or SDI-12 I2Digital (voltage) I2C or SPI 
Meas. timea 2 s <200 ms 100 msb 8 ms 
Accuracya ≤ ±2 mm ≤ ±36 mmc ±10 mmb ±15 mm 
Rangea [0–4 m] [0–1.2] mc [0.02–6] mb [10–1300] mbard 
Installation Under water Above water Above water Under + above water 
Datasheet OTT (2018)  STMicroelectronics (2018) Jameco (2020) TE (2017) 

The ruler shows the dimension of each sensor (less than 15 mm for the laser-ranging module, and around 25 mm for the ultrasonic-ranging module and the pressure transducer).

aaccording to the information provided by the manufacturer or the distributor of the products.

bmost observed values as several distributors provide different characteristics.

cdepending on the target reflectance level and the level of daylight.

dabsolute pressure, corresponding to a water level between 0 and 12 m.

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