Towing tank


The towing tank at Centrale Nantes is 140 m-long, 5 m-wide, with a constant depth of 3 m. It is equipped with a towing carriage able to go in both directions, at speeds up to 8 m/s. At one end of the tank, a wave maker generates waves with heights up to 0.5 m. At the other end, a beach allows waves to break, therefore limiting the reflection of waves in the tank.

Main features


140m x 3m x 5m


The carriage has a maximum speed of 8 m/s and runs over the total length of the tank.

Preparation area:

A large preparation area (10 x 10m) is dedicated to the assembly and the preparation of the tests.

Overhead crane:

The overhead crane covers the central area of the towing tank, as well as the preparation area. It features a 2.5 ton hoist. The maximum clearance is 6.50m from the ground

Qualified divers:

A team of two qualified IB category divers is available to operate in the towing tank.


The tank is equipped with an hydraulic flap-type wavemaker (monodirectional waves only). Opposite the wave generator, a passive wave absorber is installed.


  • Dedicated 6D load cells for ship testing
  • QUALISYS trajectory motion capture system (Aerial and submarine)
  • Resistive, capacitive and ultrasonic wave sensors
  • Synchronized HD video system (Air and Underwater)
  • Acquisition and analysis systems (Matlab, LabVIEW, RTMaps)
Published on March 29, 2017 Updated on January 21, 2021