The US Navy Uses a Man-Made Indoor Ocean to Test Ships

By: Rahul Kalvapalle - Aug 31, 2014
References: navsea.navy.mil & gizmodo
The Naval Surface Warfare Center, a division of the US Navy, has its very own indoor ocean located just outside Washington D.C. The vast space houses as many as 216 newly obtained electronic waveboards that generate realistic ocean-like waves, making the facility the most advanced wave-testing facility the world has ever seen.

The football field-sized indoor ocean is used by the navy to test its ship models before they are actually constructed, and to ascertain how the vessels handle themselves in different conditions and how sailors will perform their duties in them.

The indoor ocean with its fancy technology was developed because previous pneumatic-powered wave systems didn't quite cut it, as they couldn't replicate complicated ocean conditions affected by winds and far-off hurricanes.

With this high-tech new facility, the US Navy can conduct ship simulations and tests in only six weeks, when older facilities required months to finish testing.