Aqua Data Systems Ltd was originally incorporated in 1988 by Alexander Gavrilovic, a well-known and very highly respected British hydrologist at that time. He was particularly interested in electromagnetic technology for measuring flow in rivers, streams and sewers. Back then, the technology was very basic and cumbersome to use, and Alexander’s aim was to develop an easy-to-use system. He set up offices in Lyneham, Wiltshire, UK and went on to develop the Sensa RC1 electromagnetic velocity meter. This was the company’s first current meter, and was technically very advanced. However it proved very expensive to manufacture and sales were very limited.
A new version, the Sensa RC2 was developed, and these were starting to be successfully sold. However, the high costs of developing the RC2 created financial problems, and another company Aqua Data Services Ltd, was created to continue the work. The Sensa RC2 was the main product and proved popular worldwide, with many hundreds of units being sold. New product development continued organically, resulting in the design of multi-probe units and 3-axis units.
In 1992 Bryan Johnson from Quantum Dynamics was invited to collaborate with Aqua Data Systems on new designs, and in 1993 Alexander asked Bryan to take over as Managing Director, due to ill health. Bryan made a success of this company and within a year won some good contracts, including the Central Water Commission (CWC) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in India. They also appointed new agents in several countries, including South Korea and Canada.
During this period Alexander’s health deteriorated further and he passed away; in May 2009 all the shares of Aqua Data Systems were transferred to Quantum Dynamics. Quantum Dynamics continued to run the Aqua Data business successfully, until the sale of the whole company to Control Developments on 4th August 2015. This was due to Bryan’s desire to retire, and marked a third chapter in the story of Aqua Data.
Brian Thompson, the owner of Control Developments, recognised the excellent designs and great potential for growing the business, and embarked on an ambitious program to develop the most advanced electro-magnetic flow meters in the world. This culminated in the successful launch of the RC3 ‘Fluvia’ and the lower cost RC4 ‘FloStick’.
Aqua Data remains a wholly-owned subsidiary of Control Developments, and is developing other flow meters and turbidity instruments due to be released in late 2020. The story continues…
Sensa RC2 in 1992
The original unit
Sensa RC2dlx in 2015
New single board computer, Real Time Clock, data logger, backlight, SDI12, lithium ion rechargeable battery
Fluvia RC3 in 2019
Graphic touch screen, immersible, river profiling, huge logging memory, Bluetooth, GPS…