The Hamburg Ship Model Basin

Setting the Standard in Ship Optimisation

Video 100 years

HSVA – Setting standards in ship optimisation
for more than 100 years

For a century, the private and independent Hamburg Ship Model Basin HSVA has been at the forefront of hydrodynamic research. HSVA has influenced and led developments of testing technology, methods, standardisation and numerical procedures to solve complex problems.

Today, HSVA is also a service and consulting company for industrial customers worldwide. Highly skilled staff is trained to interact with customers to optimise products and procedures quickly with high precision. HSVA skills are acknowledged in other areas as well such as the aircraft industry. Its leading role in national and international research programs makes HSVA a most competent partner in science and services around the field of hydrodynamics and related areas.

HOLISHIP receives Blessing from EU – Commission

The face of ship design is changing. The vastly increasing complexity of European built ships and maritime structures as well as the growing number of rules and regulations call for novel concepts of product design and testing. To address this challenge a team of 40 European maritime industry and research partners  has submitted the HOLISHIP (HOLIstic optimisation of SHIP design and operation for life cycle) proposal in response to the 2015 Call of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Transport Research Programme.
Now the consortium has been awarded an 11.4 M€ grant to develop the next generation ship design system for the European maritime industry. HOLISHIP sets out to address urgent problems of today’s ship design and operation, focusing on future requirements by developing a holistic approach to ship design capable of meeting tomorrow’s challenges.


Liquefaction Website Launched


The LiquefAction project addresses the problem of iron ore fine cargo liquefaction on board bulk carriers under certain conditions. In the past these lead to fatal accidents and a significant number of ships were lost in the short period between 2007 and 2013 only. The ships capsized due to liquefaction of its cargo, i.e. change of state from solid to high density liquid, a phenomenon associated with ore cargo turning into liquid under a combination of moisture in the cargo holds, ship motions and vibration. The problem is well known to ship designers when large quantities of liquids with free surface onboard a ship exert uncontrolled shift of its centre of gravity (especially in heavy seas) and result in rapid loss of stability with catastrophic outcomes.

The homepage for this project has been launched on March-17, 2016.
From now on we will inform you about improvements and other results on these pages.

Twenty-two Twistercuppers spotted in HSVA’s model basin


A few days ago, HSVA’s small towing tank was once again converted into a sailboat race course: twenty-two skippers brought their remote-controlled America’s Cupper models, hoping to win the legendary “Twistercup” by Becker Marine Systems. HSVA, the champion of last summer, started with the sailboats “Jahrhundertboot”, “Newswave”, “Newswave II” and “Newswave III”. This time, however, the boats seemed ill-fated: “Jahrhundertboot” suffered from severe technical problems, having to give up after one hour, while “Newswave” lost its foresail after a violent collision. Even “Newswave II”, past winner of five Twistercups, did not finish the regatta without damage; nonetheless, its skipper Hans-Uwe Schnoor could step onto the podium in the end. Michael Wächter from HSVA’s subsidiary company SDC won the twelfth Twistercup, followed by Henning Kuhlmann from Becker Marine Systems – congratulations!

During the event, the contestants and guests were served food and drinks and they could join HSVA’s managing director Janou Hennig for a guided tour through the testing facilities. HSVA thanks Becker Marine Systems for the invitation to the Twistercup and will for sure take part in the outdoor regatta in the Harburg harbour basin this summer.


Cavitation Documentation in Full HD Quality

HSVA's Propellers & Cavitation department has used the Christmas break to replace the entire video recording system that is used for documentation of the cavitation behavior in HYKAT. To achieve best picture quality it has been usual  from the beginning in HYKAT to install small video cameras in closest distance in front of the propeller inside the ship model. For this reason it was the main challenge to adapt the latest generation of High Definition (HD) miniature video cameras for the harsh environment inside a cavitation tunnel. The use in combination with strobe light illumination raised special problems as well. Not only the cameras but also the whole cabling, the recording systems as well as post processing hard and software had to be replaced, configured, and tested within a few days. The mission could be accomplished!

Six Full HD cameras with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels are now availabe for cavitation observation and documentation from various viewing directions. A milestone with respect to picture quality -  as you will see during your next cavitation test performed in HYKAT!

HYDRALAB+ has been launched through the EU Programme Horizon 2020

HydralabHYDRALAB is an advanced network of 24 hydraulic and hydrodynamic institutes in Europe providing access to major and unique hydraulic and hydrodynamic facilities from across the whole European scientific community. The HYDRALAB+ project has a term of 4 years and will prepare hydraulic and hydrodynamic modelling for the upcoming urgent technical challenges associated with adaptations for climate change. HSVA offers their Arctic Technology facilities to enable “Transnational Access” activities for international groups of researchers to use our unique experimental facilities for research projects and thus enhancing the coherence of the European research community. A call for proposals for “Transnational Access” will be issued within the next 2 months.

The main objectives of HYDRALAB+ are to:

  • Widen the use of and access to major and unique hydraulic and hydrodynamic research infrastructures in the EU and develop instrumentation and testing procedures beyond the present state-of-the-art, for new inter-disciplinary and complex applications such as morphodynamics, hydraulic structures and ice engineering.

  • Research activities will be addressed to the challenges of future global warming and climate change.

  • Reach out to the experimental hydraulic and hydrodynamic research community beyond HYDRALAB in Europe, and the wider world, by involving them in the process of achieving results and by making them directly aware of project achievements.