AHERC Projects Update

AHERC Projects Update

As this year’s large scale tests are wrapped up at the Tanana River Test Site, AHERC’s other pro-ject work is ramping up.

Multibeam Sonar Surveying - Recently AHERC researchers have been working towards becom-ing proficient at conducting full multibeam sonar surveys of aquatic environments. This sonar system can measure the depth of sea beds or other water bodies and can be used to create bath-ymetric maps, which are the underwater equivalent of a topographic maps. The multibeam sonar is currently being tested at ACEP’s Energy Technology Facility and on local Fairbanks lakes so researchers can become more familiar with the operation of the equipment. Once the sonar is fully operational, a survey will be conducted at the Tanana River Test Site later in the fall and then in Yakutat, Alaska in the spring to aid in an ongoing wave energy project.

Rapid Sea Level Deployment (RSD) - This project is currently in the late design/early manufac-turing phase. The RSD project will use water level sensors to measure storm surges in Kivalina, Shishmaref, and Shaktoolik as an aid to monitor coastal erosion in Alaska. The sensors will be deployed in the fall before the storm season begins.

Shallow Water Ice Profiler (SWIP) - Once it’s ready for deployment, the SWIP will measure ice thickness on the Kvichak River near Igiugig, Alaska at the outlet of Lake Iliamna, the site used by ORPC to deploy their in-river turbine. The project is being conducted in cooperation with ORPC to acquire a better understanding of ice thickness and river current during the winter months in relation to a turbine deployment.

Mooring top float with Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler used in wave energy resource study in Yakutat, Alaska.  Photo courtesy of J. Kasper, UAF.