Master Thesis: Development of a Measurement Concept for Brash Ice Thickness in HSVA's Ice Model Basin


When an icebreaking ship passes through level ice, it creates a channel with large broken ice pieces. As other ships pass by the same channel, these ice pieces are re-broken and formed into a channel filled with ice rubbles. These channels are used a commercial routes by vessels having a moderate ice class, since the ship resistance is reduced compared to intact ice.

In the Large Ice Model Basin of HSVA brash ice is created using a special process and then model tests are carried out to estimate the powering requirements of the vessels. During testing, one crucial part of the work is to measure accurately the thickness of the brash ice channel. This is usually performed by hand using a customized caliper gauge. The process is however time consuming and involves human factor. In this context, the HSVA aims to develop an improved measurement concept.


                                  Figure 1 – Brash ice in HSVA ice tank and current measurement by hand


The objective is to define a suitable measuring concept and design of a thickness measurement device for brash ice during model tests. The device can either be based on a mechanical or electronic method and shall allow reliable, accurate, repeatable and fast measurement of the brash ice thickness.

Task assignment:

Depending on progress rate and available time for the master thesis, the scope of work could include the following items:

  • Familiarizing with HSVA’s Ice Model Basin and model brash ice
  • Rough sketching and evaluation of several concepts
  • Pre-tests with the most promising concept(s)
  • Design engineering & CAD drawing
  • Assembly
  • Testing & calibration
  • Documentation in a written report



Development of a Measurement Concept for Brash Ice Thickness in HSVA's Ice Model Basin