The U.S. Navy Has A Secret Indoor Ocean

us navy indoor ocean mask basin

The U.S. Navy has one of the most diverse arsenals in the world. They outpace all other nations in terms of the numbers of aircraft carriers, battleships, and submarines in their arsenal. The Navy has even set up a secret indoor ocean to test such naval vehicles of war.

It simulates natural ocean waves to test naval vehicles for the Navy. However, they only test miniature or scaled-down versions of these naval vehicles in the indoor ocean. The testing happens before building the actual ship to get feedback and improve the design.

U.S. Navy Indoor Ocean

The Navy calls it a “maneuvering and seakeeping” (MASK) basin. However, it is also known as David Taylor Model Basin and is situated at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. The indoor ocean features advanced technology that can precisely recreate eight open-water conditions.

It’s also one of the largest indoor oceans in the world, making MASK the most advanced test facility of its kind. As for the specifications, It’s 240 feet wide, 360 feet long, and holds over twelve million gallons of water. The U.S. Navy’s indoor ocean can simulate natural wave conditions to test the stability and control of scale models up to 30 feet in length.

You can also check out our other article on the U.S navy building an Iron Man suit to use in combat.

Simulating waves

These waves are simulated with the help of 216 finger-like panels in the corner of the pool. These panels push the water in a synchronized order and look just like piano keys. Each hinged wave panel has its motor synced up to the software to help simulate eight different ocean currents.

This helps the U.S Navy in predicting how the full-scale vessels will perform on the ocean. The Navy can also assess whether sailors can launch missiles and land helicopters in particular circumstances and how vessels handle a full tank versus running on fumes.

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