Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


College of Engineering


John Ridgely

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


High-quality tide and wave data are essential in a variety of fields including coastal engineering, climate science, disaster response, and recreational activities. Accurate data are publicly accessible from government organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), however the high costs associated with deploying and maintaining their high accuracy gauges results in a deficit of localized data. Commercial gauges available starting at $2,000 are still expensive for local agencies and individual users to deploy and maintain. These commercial options can also be limited in their scope, accuracy, or ease of use. In this thesis, a low-cost acoustic gauge was developed using widely available components and custom software in order to simultaneously measure both waves and tides. With a component cost of less than $350, interested parties can manufacture these gauges at a fraction of the price of comparable commercial options. Laboratory testing indicates individual measurement uncertainties of less than three centimeters for a 10-meter measurement