By Nicholas Malay, NSWCCD Public Affairs
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division (NSWCCD) completed major renovations of the Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin (MASK) facility, Aug. 16.
For more than one hundred years, the Navy has built and conducted extensive testing on physical prototypes of ships called scale models before building the real ship in full scale. In 1962, Carderock built the MASK in order to test the scale model performance of ships, platforms and moored systems in realistic sea conditions. The 360-foot long and 240 foot-wide facility holds approximately 12 million gallons of water and is used to evaluate the maneuverability, stability and control of scale models.
“By simulating the ocean’s most extreme conditions in this facility, we can test scale models up to 30 feet in length in order to predict the full-scale performance of ships in the open ocean,” said NSWCCD Hydromechanics Facilities Engineering and Operations Division Head, Joseph Moeller. “We are very excited to begin exploring the facility’s new capabilities and integrating them with our existing test equipment,”
During the six-year upgrade, NSWCCD replaced the original pneumatic wavemaking system in the MASK with 216 individually-controlled electro-mechanical waveboards that significantly enhances the capability to create a precise wave environment.
“This new finger-style technology provides the Navy with an unprecedented capability to create a realistic ocean environment inside of the facility, which enables us to collect more precise test data,” said NSWCCD Naval Architecture and Engineering Department Head, Jon Etxegoien. “This upgrade, along with the size of the facility, makes the MASK the most advanced test facility of its kind in the world.”
Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock Division, part of the Navy’s Science and Engineering Enterprise, leads the Navy in hull, mechanical and electrical engineering. Headquartered in West Bethesda, Md., NSWC Carderock employs approximately 3,600 scientists, engineers, technicians and support personnel and includes the Ship Systems Engineering Station located in Philadelphia as well as detachments in Norfolk, Va., Cape Canaveral, Fla., Andros Island, Bahamas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Memphis, Tenn., Bangor, Wash., Ketchikan, Alaska and Bayview, Idaho.