an artificial pool with a round, oval, or rectangular perimeter, filled with water and equipped for testing models of ships, hydrotechnical and port equipment, and the like.
In model-testing pools for ocean vessels, tests are conducted primarily to find the types and elements of motors as well as the most favorable outlines for the hull of the ship and to investigate the relationship between the ship’s hull and the motors and rudders when the ship is in motion. This relationship permits an evaluation of the power requirements for the main engines, of the steering mechanism, and of maneuverability. Similar problems concerning inland-water vessels are resolved in so-called shallow-water model-testing pools, where changes in the relationship between the water-line of the boat and the depth of the water are simulated by raising and lowering the water level in the pool. Special wave-producing equipment, which imitates ocean turbulence, is also provided in model-testing pools to test the seaworthiness of a vessel and the effect of external pressures on different elements of its structure and on the structure as a whole.
Model-testing pools for ocean vessels are divided into three types, depending on the method of the models’ locomotion: (1) pools in which the models are pulled by towing carts outside, on which the experimenters and the measuring and recording equipment are located; (2) gravitational pools (for a narrower range of investigation), in which the movement of the models is produced by falling weights; (3) pools with automated models that have their own drive mechanism and are steered by radio signals or by an experimenter on board the model.
The first model-testing pool in Russia was built in St. Petersburg between 1887 and 1893 with the participation of D. I. Mendeleyev, I. G. Bubnov, and A. N. Krylov.
Hydrotechnical model-testing pools are used chiefly to investigate the effects of waves and currents on hydrotechnical installations and to test the efficiency and strength of shore-protection works and the mud settling in ports.