A novel acoustic sensor has been developed, capable of remotely monitoring the free surface ‘fingerprint’ of shallow flows. Temporal and spatial properties of this pattern are shown to contain information regarding the nature of the flow itself. The remote measurement can thereby be used to infer the bulk flow properties such as depth, velocity, and the hydraulic roughness of the pipe. The instrument is non-invasive and is also low cost, low maintenance, and low power. Such a device will allow for widespread monitoring of flow conditions in drainage networks, enabling pro-active maintenance and reliable real-time control.

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