IIHR is a leader in ship hydrodynamics research, supported by state-of-the-art facilities including the wave basin and towing tank. Our wave basin, completed in 2010, is a clear-span facility for ship hydrodynamics research and related education. The facility’s 40x20x3-meter basin accommodates free-model testing in an open body of water for critical analysis of naval vessel maneuverability and seaworthiness. Research engineers test radio-controlled scale-model navy ships under a variety of real-life conditions, created by the basin’s six wavemakers. The free-moving models maneuver like real ships — straight ahead, zigzag, full circle, and even capsize.
The wave basin facility with its local flow measurement instruments can test ships under many different real-world conditions, measuring the water flow and wave patterns around the ship, including breaking waves, bubbly ship wake flows, unsteady hull surface pressure, and more.
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 joined IIHR in the mid-1950s, he helped build IIHR into one of the nation’s leading ship hydrodynamics research programs.