I work as a research assistant in the field of water resources management. We build small scale physical models of rivers and make experiments with sediment. The model rivers are about 20m long and 3m wide, the water depth is from 0 to half a meter. The bottom is either concrete or gravel.
One important task is to quantitatively measure the bedform that results after a model run. (i.e. where the gravel got washed away and where it accumulated)
I was wondering whether there is a chance to use a medical ultrasound device to record the topography of the (river) bottom. I'm hoping that these devices deliver a 2D profile of the riverbed and if I track to position + orientation of the ultrasound probe I can put together a 3d topography.
Has anyone ever done some experiments like that? I mean alienated a ultrasound device? or can anyone tell me why my idea is theoretically bad / good? Where could be problems? Is it possible to get spatial information out of an ultrasound image? I mean in the image the ground should become apparent very clear as there is only water between the sensor and the ground. I'm aiming at an accuracy of the resulting topography of about 5mm.