Damen Naval recently completed wind climate measurements on a model of the Holland-class Ocean-going Patrol Vessel in a low-speed wind tunnel (LST). Goal was to explore the effects of wind and airflow on the performance of frigates.

Damen Naval collaborated with NLR – Netherlands Aerospace Centre, Commando Materieel en IT, DNW – German-Dutch Wind Tunnels, and LaVision Inc.

Also read: Damen Naval starts construction of German F126 frigates

Measuring the complete air flow field

To test the effects of wind and airflow, an innovative flow measurement approach was used where an omni-directional particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) setup using Helium Filled Soap Bubbles was employed.

For the first time ever, Damen Naval says it was able to measure the complete air flow field (and associated turbulence and velocity fluctuations) in 3D around a realistic and complex frigate in an industrial wind tunnel. To do so, six cameras, four illumination directions and dedicated LaVision software were used to gather air flow measurements all around the ship model. This provided valuable insights in how wind speeds and directions can influence the performance of the vessel.

Also read: Damen Naval targets Portuguese market through partnership

How it works

The small helium filled soap bubbles have precisely the same density as air and so they can follow the airflows precisely. When the bubbles are illuminated with lasers, it allows large-scale flow measurements to be carried out around the wind tunnel model.

This state-of-the-art measurement technique also enabled Damen Naval to investigate various configurations, such as the influence of containers on deck, the extension of a RHIB and different mast positions. The company was testing whether these different configurations have any potential impact on the Ship Helicopter Operational Limits (SHOL) and Ship UAV Operational Limits (SUOL).

The results of the measurement will be used for the further development of frigates as well as to provide more details on the operation of drones from a helideck.

Picture by Damen.

Also read: Portuguese Navy orders multi-purpose drone carrier from Damen