Recent simulation testing of existing and proposed improvements to the Houston Ship Channel (HSC) in Galveston Bay has demonstrated the need for additional information on the behavior of ship maneuvering and passing in very restricted waterways. Modeling based on towing tank tests for bank/ship and ship/ship interactions had to be seriously modified for the ships to respond as the pilots indicate ships behave in the HSC. Comparison with scale physical models indicates that these modifications do produce ship motions similar to those measured with the free-running physical models. Prototype measurements also indicate the behavior is being reproduced with the revised simulator model. This suggests the need for new and better methods for determining ship behavior in highly restricted waterways that can account for the free motion of the ship.

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