Barriers that preclude the use of conventional mapping platforms from filling in the nearshore "white zone" data gap include floating kelp, rocky shoals, foggy conditions and cloudy water. The CSUMB Seafloor Mapping Lab's R/V Kelpfly hybrid jet/airboat mapping platform was developed with federal, private and university funding for mapping over and through kelp canopy and in the surf zone.
Modified JetSki/air boat system with sonar mount for mapping in ultra-shallow water and kelp forests. Kelpfly is a Yamaha WaveRunner mounted in a rigid inflatable aluminum hull custom built by Wing Inflatables, that can be equipped with an ultra-wide swath interferometric bathymetric sidescan sonar, motion sensor and sound velocity profiler. The aircraft engine and prop mounted on the back enable the vessel to move over and map through kelp canopy - a previously impossible task.
Make & Model: Custom built by CSUMB SFML, completed in 2011
Engines: Yamaha 160 hp WaveRunner and Bailey Aviation 175 Paramotor
Length: 14 ft
Draft: 12 inches
Fuel capacity: 18 gals gasoline
Speed Max: 25 kts
Survey Speed: 1-7 kts
Gross weight: 1700 lbs
Power: 12VDC, 24VDC
Electronics: Applanix WaveMaster POS MV, SEA SWATHplus Splash 468 kHz interferometric bathymetric sidescan sonar, YSI Castaway CTD/Soundvelocity profiler
Safety & radio equipment: UHR, emergency flares
Equipment array for various coastal and estuarine mapping
To view R/V Kelpfly Data Products - Click here