Surface Water Wave Detector for Floating Devices with Capacitive Sensor

Poh Wei Lui, Boon Chin Yeo, Way Soong Lim


Water wave monitoring is essential in collecting marine parameters for oceanography studies and early warning systems on security and safety, such as drowning detection, weather detection, and gas leakage from underwater pipeline detection, because these activities create different water wave patterns that can be further analyzed. The current wave detection methods, such as underwater pressure and resistive sensors, have lower durability as they require direct contact with the water. Monocular camera wave detection can detect the line where water waves propagate. However, a static platform is required to perform monitoring operations. This research aims to develop a continuous capacitive sensor system that a buoy can implement for contactless water surface wave detection and to develop a water wave direction detection algorithm by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) calculation. Capacitive sensors arranged in a circular shape and a compass module are implemented inside the prototype buoy. Each capacitive sensor detects the real-time wave height change by changing the capacitance value. The capacitance values from all the capacitive sensors and the North of the compass sensor are sent to the embedded server for further computations. Processes carried out in the embedded server are initial calibration, centroid calculation, PCA calculations for water wave detection, and data visualization on the webpage. The prototype buoy with a capacitive sensor system and compass sensor developed can detect the four positions tested in the experiment with a mean square error of 38.42° and a mean absolute error of 5.85°.


Surface water wave detector; capacitive sensor system; principal component analysis; water wave direction detection

Full Text:



A. Elferchichi, G. A. Giorgio, N. Lamaddalena, M. Ragosta, and V. Telesca, “Variability of Temperature and Its Impact on Reference Evapotranspiration: The Test Case of the Apulia Region (Southern Italy),†Sustainability, vol. 9, no. 12, Art. no. 12, Dec. 2017, doi: 10.3390/su9122337.

J. Zhu, Y. Zhang, S. Liu, Y. Peng, and Y. Li, “Experimental research on natural gas leakage underwater and burning flame on the water surface,†Process Safety and Environmental Protection, vol. 139, pp. 161–170, Jul. 2020, doi: 10.1016/j.psep.2020.03.038.

Z. Li and E. Fang, “Water Surface Capillary Wave Simulation and Detection Using Optical Method,†in 2021 OES China Ocean Acoustics (COA), Jul. 2021, pp. 1112–1115. doi: 10.1109/COA50123.2021.9520027.

R. Zhang, S. Draycott, I. Gyongy, D. M. Ingram, and I. Underwood, “A novel contactless technique to measure water waves using a single photon avalanche diode detector array,†Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, vol. 477, no. 2247, p. 20200457, Mar. 2021, doi: 10.1098/rspa.2020.0457.

A. Benetazzo, “Measurements of short water waves using stereo matched image sequences,†Coastal Engineering, Feb. 2013, doi: 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2006.06.012.

Z. Zhang, “A flexible new technique for camera calibration,†IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 22, no. 11, pp. 1330–1334, Nov. 2000, doi: 10.1109/34.888718.

P. V. Guimarães et al., “A data set of sea surface stereo images to resolve space-time wave fields,†Sci Data, vol. 7, no. 1, Art. no. 1, May 2020, doi: 10.1038/s41597-020-0492-9.

L. Zhang, J. Shi, Y. Zhu, C. Zhang, Z. Zhang, and J. Zheng, “An experimental study on monitoring wave profiles with LiDAR,†Ocean Engineering, vol. 285, p. 115436, Oct. 2023, doi: 10.1016/j.oceaneng.2023.115436.

X. Wang, J. Yang, H. Wang, T. Wu, and Y. Li, “Study of water surface acoustic wave detection based on terahertz radar,†in IET International Radar Conference (IET IRC 2020), Nov. 2020, pp. 1138–1142. doi: 10.1049/icp.2021.0610.

F. Toselli, F. De Lillo, M. Onorato, and G. Boffetta, “Measuring surface gravity waves using a Kinect sensor,†European Journal of Mechanics - B/Fluids, vol. 74, pp. 260–264, Mar. 2019, doi: 10.1016/j.euromechflu.2018.08.017.

X. Wang, G. Wei, H. Du, and S. Wang, “Reconstruction of 3D surface waves generated by moving submerged sphere based on stereo imaging principle,†Journal of Hydrodynamics, vol. 32, Jul. 2019, doi: 10.1007/s42241-019-0064-7.

J. Cui, R. Bachmayer, B. Deyoung, and W. Huang, “Ocean Wave Measurement Using Short-Range K-Band Narrow Beam Continuous Wave Radar,†Remote Sensing, vol. 10, p. 1242, Aug. 2018, doi: 10.3390/rs10081242.

Y. Cheng, H. Wu, Z. Yang, and H. Wang, “Underwater Target Detection by Measuring Water-Surface Vibration With Millimeter-Wave Radar,†IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, pp. 1–5, 2023, doi: 10.1109/LAWP.2023.3283309.

A. Witze, “The fight to save thousands of lives with sea-floor sensors,†nature, vol. 546, no. 7659, Art. no. 7659, Jun. 2017, doi: 10.1038/546466a.

M. Zhang et al., “Self-Powered, Electrochemical Carbon Nanotube Pressure Sensors for Wave Monitoring,†Advanced Functional Materials, vol. 30, no. 42, p. 2004564, 2020, doi: 10.1002/adfm.202004564.

B.-N. Kim, B. Choi, S. Kim, and D. Kim, “Real-time wave height measurements using a cable type wave monitoring system in shallow waters,†Apr. 2015, doi: 10.1109/CWTM.2015.7098129.

J. A. Myers, S. I. Sandler, and R. H. Wood, “An Equation of State for Electrolyte Solutions Covering Wide Ranges of Temperature, Pressure, and Composition,†Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., vol. 41, no. 13, pp. 3282–3297, Jun. 2002, doi: 10.1021/ie011016g.

Y. Liu, X. Wang, J. You, and C. Chen, “Ocean Wave Buoy Based on Parallel Six-Dimensional Accelerometer,†IEEE Access, vol. 8, pp. 29627–29638, 2020, doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2020.2971711.

S. Wang, L. Liu, R. Jin, and S. Chen, “Wave Height Measuring Device Based on Gyroscope and Accelerometer,†in 2019 IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation (ICMA), Aug. 2019, pp. 701–706. doi: 10.1109/ICMA.2019.8816380.

Y. Yu. Yurovsky and V. A. Dulov, “MEMS-based wave buoy: Towards short wind-wave sensing,†Ocean Engineering, vol. 217, p. 108043, Dec. 2020, doi: 10.1016/j.oceaneng.2020.108043.

C. Yong-hua, “How to Deploy the Moored Data Buoy with Small Vessel,†Procedia Environmental Sciences, vol. 12, pp. 1427–1431, 2012, doi: 10.1016/j.proenv.2012.01.446.

J. Thomson et al., “Biofouling Effects on the Response of a Wave Measurement Buoy in Deep Water,†Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 1281–1286, Jun. 2015, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-15-0029.1.

C. Zhang et al., “Self-Powered Sensor for Quantifying Ocean Surface Water Waves Based on Triboelectric Nanogenerator,†ACS Nano, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 7092–7100, Jun. 2020, doi: 10.1021/acsnano.0c01827.

N. Li et al., “Solar-Driven Interfacial Evaporation and Self-Powered Water Wave Detection Based on an All-Cellulose Monolithic Design,†Advanced Functional Materials, vol. 31, no. 7, p. 2008681, 2021, doi: 10.1002/adfm.202008681.

C. Zhang, J. Wang, X. Zheng, X. Wen, S. Zhang, and M. Zhao, “Wave Direction Detection Method Based on monocular Vision,†in 2018 International Symposium in Sensing and Instrumentation in IoT Era (ISSI), Sep. 2018, pp. 1–4. doi: 10.1109/ISSI.2018.8538079.

D. Wobschall and D. Lakshmanan, “Wireless soil moisture sensor based on fringing capacitance,†in 2005 IEEE SENSORS, Oct. 2005, p. 4 pp.-. doi: 10.1109/ICSENS.2005.1597624.

S. Malik, L. Somappa, M. Ahmad, S. Sonkusale, and M. S. Baghini, “A Fringing Field Based Screen-Printed Flexible Capacitive Moisture and Water Level Sensor,†in 2020 IEEE International Conference on Flexible and Printable Sensors and Systems (FLEPS), Aug. 2020, pp. 1–4. doi: 10.1109/FLEPS49123.2020.9239552.

R. Geethamani, S. S. Rani Gnanamalar, N. Ramyarani, and C. Pavithra, “Non-Contact Continuous Capacitive Liquid Level Sensing.†Rochester, NY, Apr. 10, 2018. Accessed: Aug. 24, 2023. [Online]. Available:

L. Menglu, L. Peng, W. Jun, Y. Zhiwu, C. Ying, and C. Xiang, “Study on improvement of waterproofing performance of CCCW with silicone waterproof material and waterbased capillary inorganic waterproofer,†Construction and Building Materials, vol. 400, p. 132842, Oct. 2023, doi: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2023.132842.

H. Schuldt, “Multi-Tier Architecture,†in Encyclopedia of Database Systems, L. LIU and M. T. ÖZSU, Eds., Boston, MA: Springer US, 2009, pp. 1862–1865. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-39940-9_652.

F. Anowar, S. Sadaoui, and B. Selim, “Conceptual and empirical comparison of dimensionality reduction algorithms (PCA, KPCA, LDA, MDS, SVD, LLE, ISOMAP, LE, ICA, t-SNE),†Computer Science Review, vol. 40, p. 100378, May 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.cosrev.2021.100378.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Published by INSIGHT - Indonesian Society for Knowledge and Human Development