Ship Hydrodynamics Resources
IIHR has been a leader in naval ship design for decades, and continues to forge new areas of research today. Under the leadership of IIHR Research Engineer Fred Stern, the institute has developed a unique combination of top researchers and outstanding resources and facilities, including:
IIHR Towing Tank: Located in the basement of C. Maxwell Stanley Hydraulics Lab, the IIHR towing tank has provided researchers with more than 50 years of experimental data. When noted researcher Lou Landweber left the David Taylor Model Basin (DTMB) and joined IIHR in the mid-1950s, he helped build IIHR into one of the nation’s leading ship hydrodynamics research programs. Researchers here have focused mainly on ship hydrodynamics, with an emphasis on free-surface flows as they relate to resistance and propulsion. However, present towing tank work focuses on seakeeping and maneuvering problems, as the traditionally separate areas of resistance and propulsion, seakeeping, and maneuvering begin to merge and CFD methods improve and are able to handle increasingly complex ship hydrodynamics problems.
Wave Basin Facility: In 2010, IIHR completed a new $4.9 million state-of-the-art wave basin facility to further develop the ship hydrodynamics program. Research engineers use the 40x20x3-meter wave basin to test captive or radio-controlled model-scale navy ships under a variety of real-life conditions, created by the basin’s six wavemakers. The free-moving models can maneuver just like real ships—straight ahead, zigzag, full circle, and even capsize. A custom eight-ton overhead carriage tracks the radio-controlled ships using indoor global positioning and two-camera vision, shadowing the vesse4ls to within +/- 100 mm. A 3D particle image velocimetry system measures fluid velocities around the ships, facilitating the collection of detailed flow data. IIHR’s wave basin is the first to include local flow measurement capabilities, critical for continued development of simulation-based design.
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