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Ship Motion and Wave Radar Data Fusion for Shipboard Wave Measurement

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Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Atlantic has conducted many dedicated seakeeping and structural load trials on the Canadian Navy research ship CFAV Quest and on several Canadian Navy warships. Typically, wave buoys have been deployed to measure seaway wave characteristics; however, there has been an ongoing interest in evaluating shipboard wave measurement systems. These systems have some advantages over wave buoys for short-term trials and are needed for longer-term sea trials and to provide wave input data for tactical and real-time ship operator guidance systems. This paper presents some of our experiences with wave radar. In the last few years there have been significant advances in wave radar technology (systems that extract wave data from backscatter information contained in the video output of X-band navigational radar displays). Commercial “off-the-shelf” systems are now available. While there is evidence that these systems can provide reliable wave data from shore-based or stationary platform installations, it is DRDC's experience on a ship moving in waves, that wave radars can give good direction and frequency measurements but less reliable wave heights. DRDC has developed a method to improve shipboard wave height measurement through fusion of wave radar data with measured ship motion response data. This paper discusses the development of the wave data fusion process, validated through previous sea trial data, and presents the results of a recent demonstration of the approach during a sea trial conducted on CFAV Quest in November/December 2008.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-06-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Ship Research is a quarterly publication providing highly technical papers on applied research in hydrodynamics, propulsion, ship motions, structures, and vibrations. While the Journal requires that papers present the results of research that advances ship and ocean science and engineering, most contributions bear directly on other disciplines, such as civil and mechanical engineering, applied mathematics, and numerical analysis. High quality papers are contributed from the U.S., Canada and overseas, with representation from established authorities as well as new researchers.
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