Research topics

Owing to its large dimensions and its specifications, the facility allows to carry out :

  1. Basic studies on small-scale air-sea interaction processes, of crucial importance for properly understanding and parameterizing wind-wave generation, kinematics and dynamics of wind waves, properties of small-scale sea surface roughness, momentum and energy fluxes at the sea surface, mass and gas transfers accross the air-sea interface, electromagnetic and acoustic backscattering from the sea surface (Figure 5)
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    Figure 05

    Schematic diagram of wind-wave-current interactions at the sea surface.

    Crédit : MIO
  2. Model experiments in which one particular mechanism can be identified to be investigated in more details, then providing high quality data sets for direct comparison with numerical simulations or theoretical models.
  3. Test experiments for scaling or testing prototypes of new marine structures, vessels, floating wind turbines and new measuring techniques or devices (Figures 11f-i).
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    Figure 11f

    Pictures of typical experimental arrangements - Floating wind turbine on a TLP floater

    Crédit : J.P. Giovanangeli
    JPEG - 282.4 ko
    Figure 11g

    Pictures of typical experimental arrangements - Wind turbine on an oscillating column

    Crédit : H. Branger
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    Figure 11h

    Pictures of typical experimental arrangements - Floating horizontal axis wind turbine

    Crédit : H. Branger
    Figure 11i
    Pictures of typical experimental arrangements - Tests of a vertical axis wind turbine performed in the facility without water

The facility is particularly suitable for experimental studies on :

  • Wind wave generation and various air and water flow couplings,
  • Momentum transfer at the air-sea interface,
  • Wave-wave, wave-current and wave-turbulence interactions,
  • Nonlinear evolution of wind waves and mechanically-generated waves (3D, wave group dynamics and rogue waves),
  • Wave breaking and the associated two-phase flow phenomena (generation of turbulence, bubbles, spray and aerosols),
  • Heat, gas and mass exchanges at the sea surface,
  • Acoustic and electromagnetic wave scattering from the sea surface,
  • Remote sensing of surface winds, current and waves,
  • Remote sensing of water surface temperature.

Industrial studies can be performed on :

  • Combined impact of wind and waves on fixed offshore structures,
  • Combined impact of wind and waves on floating structures,
  • Experimental tests on new marine renewable energy models,
  • Air flow impact on large structures by using the facility without water, the test cross-section then sizing 2.6 x 2.7 m2.