Towing Tank Lab

Towing Tank Lab

Towing tank basin

The ship model basin is a physical basin (or tank) used to carry out physical and hydrodynamic tests with ship models. Different than other larger tanks that focus solely on research, the ship model basin at NTNU in Ålesund will be used in cooperation with students, during courses at the ship design bachelor and master courses.

The ship model basin is easy to use and provides students insights on how a maritime structure responds to waves and water resistance. Here the students can test everything from creative ship designs to simple pipe structures, platforms, propellers and foils.



The bottom consists a sandwich profile. The walls consist of Plexiglas that allows the user to inspect underwater.

  • Length: 10.9 m
  • Width: 2 m
  • Depth: 0.8 to 0.95 m


Towing trolley runs along an extruded aluminum profile on the concrete wall. The carriage is driven by a helical gear on a suitable rack. Sensord inside the trowley collect and send data to the computer.

  • Effective tow length: 7.7 m
  • Top speed: 2 m / s
  • Acceleration: 1 m / s ^ 2

Wave Generator

Simple flap system, driven by an electromechanical cylinder. The flap comprises a hinged sandwich plate with a depth of 0.6 m.

Wave attenuation (beach)

At the opposite end of the wave generator has a "beach". This is a sandwich profile with a cylindrical surface that functions as a damper, diminishing refracted waves. It also can give support the the user while mounting the model. Along one side of the tank there is a side damper. Side damper is the same type that was used during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Data collection

Data from the trailer are transmitted to the desktop computer inside the lab, with multiple channels. Here the user can check the ship data, monitoring sensors along and steer wave generator and trailer.

Towing tank basin