The Hamburg Ship Model Basin

Setting the Standard in Ship Optimisation

Video 100 years

Ship dynamics

Operational performance as well as safety of a ship are determined to a large extent by its dynamic behaviour in waves and during manoeuvring. HSVA conducts a number of dedicated research projects to improve both, experimental and numerical methods for the investigation of the dynamic behaviour and, applying these new tools to the improvement of ships and other maritime products.

The following links provide more information on Ship Dynamics related projects:

  • Tug-Design: Seakeeping Behaviour of Offshore Workboats
  • MODESH: Motion and Deformation of Ships
  • PreMan: Scale effects and environmental effects at the prediction of the manoeuvring
  • PerSEE: Performance of ships in seaway


The limited global fossil energy resources and the resulting constraint to increased efficiency in raw materials extraction and production are the thematic background of this research project. The research focuses on ocean-going offshore tugs equipped with Voith Schneider propulsors and whose operational availability can be significantly increased by improved seakeeping behaviour.

The design of small, full ships with excellent seakeeping behaviour is dominated by a series of hydrodynamic analyses, which are characterized both numerically and experimentally.

The overall aim of this research project is the accurate prediction of seakeeping behaviour with active propulsion and taking account of viscous forces and the interaction of multiple floating bodies. Substantive milestones for achieving these aims are the development of a hydrodynamic simulation method for the prediction of seakeeping behaviour of tugs, the development of statistical evaluation methods for seaways, the development of technical procedures for retrofitting tugs for offshore operations by viscous multi-body hydrodynamic simulations and the development of goal-oriented design guidelines.

Due to the global work tasks this project is carried out in a cooperation of the companies and institutions Voith Turbo Schneider Propulsion, Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg and Hamburgische Schiffbau-Versuchsanstalt. The results of this project will lead to more accurate predictions of seakeeping behaviour for small, full ships for all partners and thus to the consolidation of their market standing within their consulting and delivery tasks. In particular, for Voith Schneider an improved tug design strengthens their market standing in the field of marine propulsion systems. The exploitation of the research results is conducted by a direct and immediate integration into the development and design process.

TUG.Design was funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany (BMWi). The project is carried out in collaboration with Hamburg University of Technology, and Voith Turbo Schneider Propulsion GmbH.

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MODESH - Motion and Deformation of Ships

The identification of dangerous situations in heavy seas and the recording of the ship’s response during these situations is of great importance in order to validate numerical simulations and improve the prediction of such situations.

A new technique for long term measurements of ship motions and deformations in seaways will be developed and tested in cooperation with the German Lloyd and GeoIT. All six degrees of freedom as well as the global bending and torsion will be measured on a ship for a sufficiently long time with an accuracy which has never been reached before.

Moreover HSVA will develop currently used RANS methods for the simulation of the flow and the movements of the ship in seaways further, to use them especially for the investigation of dangerous situations.

For the verification of the full scale measurements and the validation of the developed RANS methods deterministic seakeeping model tests, including the measurement of seaway loads and roll damping behaviour, will be done.

The MODESH project is sponsored by the German Ministry of Economy and Technology (BMWi).

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Maßstabseffekte und Umwelteinflüsse bei der Vorhersage des Manövrierverhaltens seegehender Schiffe

Scale-effects and environmental effects at the prediction of the manoeuvring behaviour of seagoing ships

Project Description:

One of the main goals of the HSVA part of this joint research project is to improve the accuracy of the prediction of the manoeuvring behaviour of advancing ships carrying out a rudder manoeuvre based on model tests. The purpose is to make it possible with a better reliability than before to take manoeuvring criteria into account in the ship design process and to keep the differences between predictions and reality as small as possible with respect to existing norms.

The main objectives of the joint research project PreMan are

  • Clarification of the scale-effects at the prediction of manoeuvring behaviour of the advancing ship carrying out a rudder manoeuvre based on model tests
  • Improvement of the prediction of rudder manoeuvres under the influence of the environment through further development of RANSE Simulation methods
  • Elaboration of criteria for the quantification of scale effects and of the environmental influence at the prediction of manoeuvring behaviour of ships

The PreMan project is sponsored by the German Ministry of Economy and Technology (BMWi)

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Performance von Schiffen im Seegang

Performance of ships in seaway

Project Description:

The main goal of the HSVA part of this joint research project is the development of a numerical method suitable for industrial use for the estimation of wave added resistance of a ship in seaway. A program code should be developed which allows efficient determination of wave added resistance for any wave chosen wave direction. Model tests will be carried out to obtain detailed data on the wave added resistance in seaway.

For quantitative determination of the propulsion losses and for support of the project partners propulsion tests in seaway will be carried out with a modern ship model in the main towing tank. The necessary minimum installed propulsion power for the manoeuvrability of a ship in heavy seas will be determined based on CPMC-tests.

The project started in October 2012 and is scheduled to end in March 2016.


Germanischer Lloyd SE (GL)
Hamburgische Schiffbau-Versuchsanstalt GmbH (HSVA)
Technische Universität Berlin (TUB)
Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH)
Universität Duisburg-Essen (UDE)
Universität Rostock (URO)
Voith Turbo Schneider Propulsion GmbH & Co. KG (VOITH)

PerSEE is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

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