Real-time measurements of river flow velocities under the ice in winter are very difficult. An experimental apparatus of a new thrust flow transducer based on particle phase properties is proposed in this paper. The pull force on a traction cable produced by the floating ball in a fluid can be measured by our experimental apparatus. Then the forces produced on the rigid floating ball are used to calculate the fluid thrust. Finally, the flow velocity can be obtained using an empirical formulation between the fluid velocity and the thrust on the floating ball. Such a designed thrust flow transducer is simple and low cost and can be used not only for measuring the surface velocity of rivers, water channels, lakes, and oceans, but also for automatic measurements of water velocity, including of frazil slush that is under the ice sheet in rivers, water channels, lakes, and oceans in freezing conditions.
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