The Navy's Indoor Ocean
Indoor Wave Pool Helps Navy Researchers Design Cutting-Edge Warships
Roaring waves from all corners of the map come together under one roof with the promise to reveal age-old seagoing secrets in the Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin (MASK) at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock, Maryland.
"As long as we've been building ships and boats, we really have only started understanding how they really work in about the last hundred years," said Jon Etxegoien, Naval Architecture and Engineering Department head. "This facility gives us that understanding."
Built in 1962 and renovated in 2013, MASK is a massive 360-foot-long, 240-foot-wide indoor ocean with depths ranging from 20 to 35 feet. The 12 million gallons of water it contains are pushed around by 216 individually controlled electromechanical wave boards that line the pool's edge, recreating ocean conditions found around in the world.
"There are many different kinds of waves," said Calvin Krishen, NSWC engineer. "Waves are different in different parts of the world, and they are different depending if you are close to shore, or away from shore or whether you're in a storm or not. We actually have the capability of programming all those different types of waves to test."