The Hamburg Ship Model Basin

Setting the Standard in Ship Optimisation

Video 100 years

Research Arctic Technology

During the past 5 years the Arctic Technology Department was involved and coordinated several public funded research projects. The following links provide more information on Arctic Technology related research projects at HSVA:



FATICE: Fatigue damage from dynamic ice action

After completion of the DYPIC project, HSVA is again involved in a big European Research Project. FATICE is a MarTERA ERA-NET COFUND Project that started in 2018. The duration is 36 months again with seven international partners involved (listed below). HSVA’s contribution is funded the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy while the other partners are funded by their individual national bodies.

FATICE deals with assessment of fatigue damage on fixed offshore structures exposed to drifting sea ice. Offshore structures are important for European industry and society with respect to exploitation of oil and gas, other mineral resources, aids for navigation and development of offshore wind. Fatigue is one of the main challenges for these structures and the present guidelines include large uncertainties that may give very heavy and expensive structures. This has three main reasons:

a) Ice conditions are poorly defined,
b) ice loads and structural response are estimated independently and
c) the assumption of linear (or independent) damage accumulations found in fatigue estimation. In FATICE the two fields of Ice-induced Vibrations (IIV) and Fatigue assessment will be combined to a) define time-series of load cycles and structural response (occurrence of IIV + coupled ice-structure interaction model) and b) develop a new method to assess fatigue life through Variable Amplitude Loading (VAL). This allows for the first time for the design of reliable and thus cost-efficient fixed offshore structures exposed to drifting sea ice and consequently for recommendations for novel guidelines.

HSVA will be involved in four Phases of Ice model testing with special focus on developing a new kind of model ice that is optimized to represent crushing failure. The new model ice will mainly be applied in ice-structure interaction tests but can also be used for ship tests in which local crushing failure occurs.



NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Coordinator), Trondheim, Norway
HSVA –The Hamburg Ship Model Basin, Hamburg, Germany
TUHH – Hamburg University of Technology, Institute for design and analysis of ships, Hamburg, Germany
DIMB Engineering, Trondheim, Norway
Siemens Wind Power B.V., Den Haag, Netherlands


TU-Delft – Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands


TÜV Nord EnSys GmbH & Co. KG, Hamburg, Germany

supported by

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IRO-2: Ice Forecast and Routing Optimization


Within the research project IRO-2 an ice forecast based on a coupled atmospheric – ocean model was combined with a navigation program in order to optimize shipping routes through ice infested waters. Remote sensing data are used to provide initialization for the ice forecast with a spatial resolution of about 2.5 km x 2.5 km. The output of the forecast model is used as an input for the navigation model. Thereby the ships ice resistance will be calculated for different routes with different ice conditions. Considering the specific ship ice breaking capability (hull shape and propulsion arrangement) the average speed and thereby the travelling time for different routes can be compared in order to find the optimum passage.

HSVA contributed with the development of the computational navigation software which is based on model tests in different ice conditions carried out in the large ice model basin between November 2011 and February 2012.



Project Partners:

Hamburgische Schiffbau-Versuchsanstalt GmbH, HSVA (Coordinator)

Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung AWI
Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrgraphie BSH
Universität Hamburg Institut für Meerekunde, IfM und Meteorologisches Institut, MI
Universität Bremen Institut für Umweltphysik


Program: Shipping & Maritime Technology for the 21st century

Funded by: Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi)


Web site:

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DYPIC: Dynamic Positioning in Ice.

This Martec-Eranet R&D Project started in 2010; the project duration was 36 months. 6 international partners (listed below) were involved in this project. The DYPIC project was funded by the national bodies of each involved country, for HSVA this was the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.

The main project goal was to develop a dynamic positioning (DP) system for model tests in ice that can be adapted to different vessels and ice conditions.

The ice model tests involved split up in Phase I and II. In Phase I collected data was needed for the development of the DP system. In-between the two phases the DP system and an additional numerical model was developed. The numerical model allows simulating the tests performed and also other scenarios. The final Phase II mainly served to adjust the DP system but also to benchmark the system and test set-up itself. Therefore the same tests were performed in different set-ups. Real station keeping was possible where the model rested in the middle of the tank and ice floes drifted by (in model tests this relative motion is typically the other way around where the model travels through the ice).

In parallel to the achievements made in DP technology the procedures of preparing and analyzing managed ice fields has been approved at HSVA.


HSVA – Hamburgische Schiffbau-Versuchsanstalt GmbH (Coordinator), Germany
DNV– Det Norske Veritas, Norway
Kongsberg Maritime AS, Norway
NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Statoil Petroleum AS, Norway

For more information visit also the official DYPIC website at

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BRICE: Breaking the Ice

“BRICE – Breaking the Ice” was an international R&D project with partners from Germany and Finland (as listed below). The work of HSVA and IWES was funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The project started in 2011, its duration is 36 months.

The overall goal of the project was to develop holistic numerical and experimental models that picture a realistic ice structure interaction of offshore wind turbines. One important aspect in this matter was the ice failure mode during the interaction with the structure. In the end an optimized substructure was to be designed for offshore wind turbines that are built in potentially ice covered waters.

Within the project there were different tasks to be solved. First the ice conditions found in the Baltic Sea were to be analyzed in order to find the critical design ice loads. Land fast ice plays an important role in this matter. Secondly an ice model was to be implemented into existing software that pictures the entire offshore wind turbine. This tool was intended to make the design work easier for engineers. Finally a test set-up for experimental ice model tests was developed that pictures the dynamical ice structure interaction. All tasks were running in parallel while information exchange occurred whenever needed.


Fraunhofer-Institut für Windenergie und Energiesystemtechnik (IWES), (National Coordinator)Bremerhaven
Hamburgische Schiffbau-Versuchsanstalt GmbH, Hamburg
Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) (International Coordinator), Espoo

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ACCESS: Arctic Climate Change, Economy and Society

ACCESS is a European Project supported within the Ocean of Tomorrow call of the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme. Its main objective is to assess climatic change impacts on marine transportation (including tourism), fisheries, marine mammals and the extraction of oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean. ACCESS is also focusing on Arctic governance and strategic policy options.

Arctic climate change will have significant impacts on both marine ecosystems and human activities in the Arctic, which in turn will have important socio-economic implications for Europe. ACCESS will evaluate Arctic climate change scenarios and their impact on specific economic sectors and human activities over the next decades. Particular attention will be given to environmental sensitivities and sustainability in the Arctic domain. ACCESS will also engage in close cooperation with indigenous people and other key stakeholders by means of a Stakeholders/End-users Forum and an Advisory Board.

HSVA is involved in two out of fife work packages. The one deals with the Study of the opening to marine transportation of the northern passages, north of Europe and Siberia (North-East passage) and through the Canadian Archipelago (North-West passage) as well as the impact of these transportation activities on marine ecosystems and society. The other one deals with how the extraction of offshore oil and gas might be influenced and affected by climatic change, taking into account associated risks.


ACCESS is a consortium of 27 institutions from 9 European countries and the Russian Federation. The coordinator of this consortium is UPMC - Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France.

Project website:

Visit the official ACCESS website at

Project Period: 01.03.2011 – 28.02.2015

Funding: European Commission – 7th Framework Programme

seventh framework programme

european commission

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ProEis - Einfluss der Formgebung von Schiffen auf die Propulsionseffizienz und Propeller-Eis Belastung

The German national research project ProEis is funded by Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) for three years – 01.07.2015 until 30.06.2018.

It focuses on the performance of ice breaking ships in uniform level ice. Good performance in this context means low ice resistance, high propulsion efficiency and continuous ice breaking. The ice floes reaching the propeller are affecting the ship’s propulsive efficiency and the ice impact on the propeller. Both aspects are strongly depending on the ship hull shape design, besides the ice properties and the ship’s speed. Understanding the influence of the ship hull shape design on the ice breaking process is essential for its assessment in an early design stage.

Based on the above background a group of experts from a ship yard, two ship propulsion manufacturers, a classification society, a measurement technique developer specialized on underwater applications, a model basin and a technical university aim on developing efficient software tools to analyze the interaction of ship hull, ship propulsion system and ice. Model tests and sea trials serve as a basis for the developments and for validation. Since the available model test results are not sufficient for this special purpose improved and new testing procedures are applied to ice model tests that are carried out in HSVA’s Large Ice Model Basin and the Arctic Environmental Test Basin within ProEis. The tools will enable an analysis of the ice floe movement along the ship hull of different ship designs, the prediction of the influence on the propulsion efficiency and the calculation of ice impact on the propeller. By means of the software, design methods for propellers and ships can be improved. Furthermore, basic knowledge can be established for the development of guidelines for ice loaded propeller design.

The project is divided into four work packages with the following main focuses:

1. Influence of the ship hull shape on the propeller-ice interaction
2. Influence of the propeller-ice interaction on the propulsive efficiency
3. Loads on the propeller induced by propeller-ice interaction
4. Ice Trials for validation

Project Partners:

  • Hamburgische Schiffbau-Versuchsanstalt GmbH, HSVA (Coordinator)
  • Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg, TUHH, Institut für Fluiddynamik und Schiffstheorie
  • develogic GmbH
  • Voith GmbH
  • Mecklenburger Metallguß GmbH, MMG
  • Nordic Yards Wismar GmbH
  • DNV GL

Program: Maritime Technology of the next Generation

Funded by: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)