New High Tech Wave Pool Can Test Hurricane Force Winds


Above: (left) Overhead view from inlet end of SUSTAIN showing high overhead space and acrylic construction. (right) Mechanically generated breaking wave in SUSTAIN.

SUSTAIN includes a unique capability to generate both directional waves and surges combined with direct wind forcing.  The  facility is equipped with a single 1460 HP fan that can generate winds in the test section of up to hurricane force (~50 m/s).  When the winds are scaled by the boundary layer profile this is equivalent to a ~190 mph or strong category 5 hurricane. To generate directional waves (with ~11° resolution) and surge, a computer-controlled series of 12 piston-type hydraulic wave paddles manufactured by HR Wallingford is positioned immediately underneath the air-intake duct.

SUSTAIN has a total dimensions of 23-m long x 6-m wide x 2-m high. The 18-m long test section is constructed of acrylic material to allow innovative optical measurements and flow visualization. The acrylic is mounted within a stainless steel frame that will be used to rigidly mount instrumentation. SUSTAIN is entirely composed of materials to allow saltwater use. An aluminum parabolic segmented sloping beach with a 1-m horizontal section at the end of the test section is located at the opposite end of the facility from the wave maker, this provides an additional mounting surface and dissipation of incident wave energy to reduce reflections. The test section is elevated to the first floor above grade and has a high-bay ceiling to allow optimal flexibility for test equipment.

SUSTAIN measurement capabilities include laser elevation gauges, multiple wire wave gauges to allow removal of reflected waves at the paddles, laser slope gauges, stereo particle image velocimetry, hot-film anemometry, laser spray imaging system, fast response wave follower and profiler system, infrared and polarimetric cameras.  [responsive]IMAGE HERE[/responsive]A high-speed 64 channel data acquisition system is available for recording the pressure at multiple points as well as multiple strain gauge signals. Labview data acquisition software will be used to acquire the signals.

SUSTAIN has a director, three part-time staff, and a scientific advisory panel which oversees QA/QC.  Graduate students often form part of research teams. SUSTAIN is managed through the  Center for Air-Sea Interaction and Ocean Sciences Department of RSMAS/UM

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