Towing tank research facility

Deep enough to test underwater vehicles and equipped with a tow carriage fast enough to test high-speed vessels such as warships, the NRC's towing tank is used to simulate marine conditions and evaluate the performance of a range of marine systems including bulk carriers, patrol vessels, sailing yachts, ice breakers and submarines among others.

Our capabilities

Tests performed in this facility include:

  • testing in calm water and waves
  • resistance and propulsion
  • seakeeping
  • manoeuvering
  • propeller open water
  • hydrodynamic force measurement
  • motion studies of moored and floating structures
  • life-saving appliances and human factors testing

At 200 m long, 7 m deep and 12 m wide, this tank is capable of testing ship models up to 10 m long and can also produce regular waves up to 1 m high and irregular waves up to a height of 0.75 m. The tank's carriage is a precision-controlled mobile laboratory that is used to follow self-propelled free-running models or tow rigidly connected models at a maximum speed of 10 m/s. Wave absorption is provided by a parabolic beach and wind generation by a bank of eight fans.

The capabilities of the towing tank are supplemented by unique pieces of equipment including a large-amplitude planar-motion mechanism for studying manoeuvring characteristics, a marine dynamic test facility capable of evaluating underwater vehicles in 6 degrees of freedom of motion and a sailing yacht dynamometer. Wake survey equipment and propulsion dynamometers are also offered, as well as flow visualization equipment and high-definition video.

Other test equipment includes:

  • capacitance and sonic wave probes
  • qualisys optical tracking
  • precision gimballed towing dynamometers
  • inertial measurement systems and propulsion control systems for free-running models
  • high-definition video that is synchronized with all digitally-recorded sensor data

Why work with us

In working with industry to bridge the gap between innovation and commercialization, the NRC plays a critical role in de-risking and demonstrating technologies in order to support industry bringing them to market. Working with the NRC offers you the competitive advantage of world-class, customizable testing facilities combined with the broad knowledge and experience of our in-house research staff. The NRC capitalizes on our professional employees who have extensive experience in advanced engineering for complex water environments.

Talk to one of our experts today

Including us early in your research and development efforts can reduce your overall risk and cost to market. Our unique expertise, comprehensive tools and facilities combined with customizable service options make us an ideal partner to support your vision and bring your products and processes to market sooner.