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  • Sunday, October 09, 2016
  • AHERC Multibeam Work in Yakutat

Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center (AHERC) Research Engineer Nick Konefal was in Yakutat, Alaska at the end of September to continue work on the US Department of Energy funded Advanced Laboratory Field Array (ALFA) for Marine Energy project.

The waters surrounding Yakutat are being analyzed as a potential location for wave energy power generation. As part of ALFA project work, AHERC will be conducting a multibeam survey of Canon Beach near Yakutat to map seafloor debris as well as to collect bathymetric data. In addition to helping quantify the risks marine debris pose a wave energy project in the region, the data will advance the ongoing Yakutat area wave energy resource assessment and will be used to help identify potential locations for wave energy converters. In preparation for the spring 2017 survey, Nick designed mounts while in Yakutat that will be used to connect AHERC’s multibeam equipment to a chartered research vessel.

This travel followed recent work at the Tanana River Test Site (TRTS) in which a successful multibeam survey was performed in the Tanana River. This survey was able to collect bathymetric data of the riverbed allowing researchers to create a map of the river bottom with vertical and horizontal precision on the order of 2cm.

Bathymetric map of Tanana River created using multibeam sonar equipment.  Credit N. Konefal, ACEP/UAF.