Collisions between oceangoing vessels and large whales (shipstrikes), while rare, are not unheard of. Naval Surface Warfare Carderock Division was contracted to perform a model scale experiment to characterize the nature, likelihood and severity of a shipstrike. Encounters between a fully appended commercial container ship type hull and an instrumented model of a North Atlantic right whale were conducted at a range of ship speeds, whale positions, and orientations. Accelerations experienced by the whale model were recorded and analyzed to measure the severity of collisions, and the danger zone ahead of the moving ship model was identified.

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