Marine Cybernetics Laboratory

The Marine Cybernetics Laboratory is the newest test basin at the Marine Technology Centre. It is located in what was originally a storage tank for ship models made of paraffin wax.

As the name indicates, the facility is especially suited for tests of marine control systems, due to the relatively small size and advanced instrumentation package. It is also suitable for more specialised hydrodynamic tests, mainly due to the advanced towing carriage , which has capability for precise movement of models in 6 degrees of freedom.

The MCLab is operated by the Department of Marine Technology, and has been a Marie Curie EU Training Site (2002-2008). It is mainly used by Master and PhD-students, but it is also available for MARINTEK and external users.

The software in use was developed using rapid prototyping techniques and automatic code generation under Matlab/Simulink and Opal. The target PC onboard the vessel runs the QNX real-time operating system while experimental results are presented in real-time on a host PC using Labview.


  • Tank Dimensions: L x B x D = 40m x 6.45m x 1.5m
  • Wave generator : Hs = 0.3m, T=0.6-1.5s (irregular waves)
  • Carriage : towing speed 2 m/s, 5 (6) DOFs forced motions
  • Current generation: 0-0.15m/s
  • Computer system for control, data recording and analysis
  • Typical scaling ratios: l = 50-150
  • Typical ship model lengths:1-3m

Experimental Set-ups

  • DP and way-point tracking (wireless control) of ships and semi-submersibles
  • Crane operations
  • Propulsor and thruster control
  • Rapid control prototyping
  • Planar motion mechanism (PMM) and vertical motion mechanism (VMM) tests
  • Calibration of transducers


The European Commission supports research projects in MCLab by Trondheim Marine Systems Research Infrastructure.

Related links:

Research Projects

Strategic University Programs (SUPs)

  • SUP on Marine Cybernetics (completed)
  • SUP on HydroElasticity 


Mechanism wall, with waves clearly visible in pool
Wave maker

Hall with towing sledge at far end
Marine cybernetics basin

Model ship cresting wave
Scaled models can be run without cables thanks to a wireless ethernet connection and a micro-PC onboard.