vorteX.io provides innovative, cost effective and flexible hydrology monitoring services on local areas thanks to compact space-based altimeters. Indeed, although space altimetry has already demonstrated its advantages for observing the evolution of sea level on a large scale or water level over a whole hydrological basin, it is not designed and is not sufficient for monitoring and measuring small-scale hydrological phenomena such as extreme events on local/regional scales (floods, marine submersions ...). On a more local scale, in-situ measurement solutions exist and are widely used, particularly in France. However, these measurement stations are often expensive to install and maintain, and use sensors that are often in contact with water, and therefore potentially inoperative during extreme events.
In order to address these societal and environmental challenges and using the space know-how of its co-founders, vorteX.io designed a compact and cost-effective remote sensing instrument dedicated to water systems monitoring. Based on satellite altimeter specifications, this innovative space-based light altimeter provides in real time high frequency centimeter accuracy water level measurements of hydrological systems. As of today, this first release of our compact altimeter system has been miniaturized from hundreds of kilograms (embedded on space missions) to less than 1 kilogram and can be embedded on flying UAVs or considered as in-situ fixed micro-stations.
The technology includes LiDAR sensor (specific and originally designed to automotive application), precise GNSS positioning, IMU attitude measurements, smartphone-like camera and real time communication system in order to provide accurate water levels. In addition, the system is intended to monitor a whole set of water parameters (such as water extent, surface speed …) thanks to different remote sensing dedicated sensors. Moreover, this solution is fully autonomous, cost-effective and dedicated to validation of space altimeter measurements thanks to external and independent measurements, as well as to provide valuable information for the prevention of population in the frame of extreme events assessment such as floodings.