The Ocean Basin Laboratory

Ocean Basin

Test facilities

The Ocean Basin Laboratory is used for studying basic as well as applied ship and offshore problems. A total environmental simulation including wind, waves and current offers unique testing conditions for models of all types of fixed and floating structures. A water depth of 10 metres offers excellent testing possibilities for deep water structures intended for the offshore industry in future. The Ocean basin is operated by MARINTEK , but NTNU has access to the facility through a co-operation agreement.


  • Seakeeping
  • Ship manoeuvring
  • Fixed and floating structures
  • Mooring systems
  • Energy production from the sea
  • Floating islands
  • Offshore loading systems
  • Offshore floating production
  • Offshore marine operations
  • Subsea systems and operations
  • Pipelines

Ocean basin laboratory data

  • Length: 80 m
  • Width: 50 m
  • Depth: 0-10 m Maximum current velocity approx. 0.2 m/s at 5 m water depth.
  • Down at 7.5 m water depth maximum current velocity is approx. 0.15 m/s.

Double flap wave maker

  • Hydraulic driven, hinged double-flap type.
  • Wave characteristics:
  • Regular waves. Maximum wave height: 0.9 m.
  • Wave periods: 0.8 s and above.
  • Wave spectra: Computer generated or from magnetic tape.

Multiflap wave maker

  • Electrically driven, hinged single-flap type.
  • 144 individually controlled flaps.
  • Wave characteristics:
  • Regular waves: Maximum wave height: 0.4 m.
  • Wave periods: 0.6 s and above.
  • Wave spectra: Computer generated shortcrested or longcrested waves of specified direction.

The carriage system follows free running models with no constraints at speed up to 5 m/s, at any heading to the waves.


Though simulations help to create realistic impressions of condictions, modelling can provide additional insight.

The focus of model tests is to provide information about aspect of the behaviour that are difficult or impossible to obtain from theoretical analysis. These are normally related to extreme wave conditions, steep or breaking waves, interaction phenomena between waves and currents, or other nonlinear hydrodynamic interaction phenomena.

Small scale model testing is commonly an important step in the process of designing new ships and other marine structures. The ocean basin laboratory was tailormade for testing of stationary offshore structures, both bottom fixed platforms and floating anchored vessels. The scaling laws and the modelling principles are the same as those developed and used in traditional ship model testing in towing tanks.