Flanders Hydraulics Research (FHR) studies and analyses the behaviour of vessels in shallow water. Ships and their cargo are becoming larger and larger. To protect our economy we have to make sure our rivers and access channels can handle this extra capacity. Consequently this field of research is an absolute priority for the Flemish Government.
Our knowledge centre 'Manoeuvring in Shallow and Confined Water' is developed in a partnership with The Maritime Technology Division of Ghent University. We collect both scientific insights and experience on this topic. Our ambition is to keep this know-how up-to-date, to refine and share it with others.
We use the knowledge we gain to provide quality advice in areas such as further development of accessible Flemish waterways and an appropriate admission policy.
We strive not only for more but also better knowledge. We do so through:
- an efficient documentation management;
- an accurate data management;
- complementary national and international cooperation.
Our knowledge centre works closely together with The Maritime Technology Division of Ghent University. We also count on expert advice of several key players from the domestic maritime world.
Flanders Hydraulics Research has ship simulators. They are used to teach people to navigate in critical situations. Furthermore they provide useful info for the design of hydraulic constructions, waterways and nautical procedures.
These simulators (certified according the STCW convention, London 1995) at Flanders Hydraulics Research can be used for the training of pilots, tug masters and navigation personnel.
- The design of hydraulic works: Provide studies on access channels, harbour entrances, access locks, turning basins and docks.
- The design of nautical procedures and auxiliary tools: Design and test nautical procedures through tugboats and approach manoeuvres.
- Risk analysis: Determine the boundaries of safe shipping in function of the environmental conditions.
Flanders Hydraulics Research also disposes of a towing tank. This tank is used for experiments with ship models in shallow water. Based upon the results of this experimental research we can define mathematical models. These models are then used to predict reality as closely as possible in the simulators.
- Manoeuvring behaviour: Develop mathematical models for the prediction of the ship manoeuvring behaviour in simulators (sea-going and inland vessels).
- Bank effects: Study the behaviour of a ship in the vicinity of a bank.
- Motions due to waves: Conduct studies on the vertical motions when navigating in waves.
- Ship-to-ship interaction: Measure the forces which ships exert on each other.
- Nautical bottom: Study the behaviour of a ship when manoeuvring above a mud layer in confined water.
- Desktop studies
Towing tank for manoeuvres in Shallow water
- Ship lock model
- Full-scale testing
- Numerical research