QinetiC ship test tank facility – Haslar
1st April 2009
At very short notice we were offered a visit to the QinetiC ship test tank facility located at Haslar in Gosport. With only a few days to organise the collection of applications and all of the security clearance data they needed to allow the visit to proceed, we were unable to advertise it in the normal way. Those members who attended the West Dean visit were informed during the visit and all members who we know to have an e-mail address were sent the information as soon as it became available. Details were also posted on our web site. Unfortunately we were unable to choose another date other than the one offered, so the visit had proceed on that basis. The application list was over-subscribed in a few days.
Nineteen members attended this visit. After a brief introduction by the Manager of the Hydrodynamics Department we were given a short slide presentation on the work undertaken at the QinetiQ site. This varies from ship hydrodynamics testing using models (surface ships and submarines) to work on atmospheric control systems, fire testing, submarine escape systems, and hyperbaric facilities for testing of life support respiratory equipment (e.g. diving sets). Our visit on this occasion was principally to see the test tanks.
Our host for the afternoon, Chris Richardsen, then gave a talk on the history of the facility, which dates back to the 1880’s, an outline of the current work being undertaken for the MOD and some foreign navies, and finished with a view of the future sources of work for this unique UK test facility..After answering a multitude of questions from our members relating to ship design we were given a guided walk around the test tanks and some of the other facilities on site.
We made a start viewing the Ocean Test Tank where we able to see the massive rotary towing arm in action and the generation of waves in the tank. This was followed by a brief visit to the old cavitation test facility; a test rig rebuilt in the UK in the 1950’s after it had been `rescued’ from Germany as part of the second world war repayment scheme; now no longer used because they have access to a more modern facility in France. Finally, we visited the Towing Test Tank to see its incredible length, the towing mechanism, the types of model used, the calibration equipment, etc. This tank is currently being used to test a commercially designed wave power generator. Throughout our tour Chris gave a running commentary pointing out the many interesting features of the facility and the models we were able to see, in addition to answering the many many questions this generated as we moved around the different parts of the site.
We concluded the afternoon with another question and answer session in the Conference Room before thanking Chris for giving us such an excellent and informative afternoon.