The free-wave spectrum completely represents the stationary phase wave field associated with a ship operating at any steady speed regime in water of arbitrary uniform depth. Working with this representation, designers can effectively measure the energy distribution across the ship wave system and mitigate hazardous coastal wake wash impacts. Moreover, recent approaches to wave resistance and ship wake wash minimization directly utilize the free wave spectrum in terms of an objective function, since it yields an effective measure of the energy distribution across the ship wave system.

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