The Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin is unique within the Navy, and is used to model the full scale motions of ships, platforms, and mooring systems in waves. In this facility, engineers evaluate the maneuverability, propulsion, dynamic stability, and control of surface ships and submarines in waves and smooth water at various headings. The MASK is used in measuring model motions, accelerations, control surface deflections, hull strains, and wake characteristics at a wide variety of simulated sea states through a radio-controlled surface and submarine model capability. The facility is also used for capsizing tests and slamming studies.
The basin is rectangular, with a length of 360 ft, a width of 240 ft, and a depth of 20 ft. There are wave makers are on two perpendicular sides, large underwater viewing windows are located in the basin wall, recirculation filters keep water photographically clear, overhead catwalks & camera platforms are available for observation & photography, overhead traveling cranes are located in the fitting room areas & over the centerline of the basin. Some commercial applications for this facility include maritime ship evaluation, oil pollution abatement procedures, and oil exploration vessel development and evaluation.