Date of Award

Fall 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Director

Gene Hou

Committee Member

Timothy Coats

Committee Member

Jennifer Michaeli


High speed operations in a small craft can be physically punishing and, in some circumstances, even dangerous for the crew. The aspect of small craft operations that make them punishing for the crew is wave slamming generated by wave impacts as the craft is traveling over the seas at high speed.

The initial step of this thesis effort was to perform a literature survey to determine what knowledge existed within the technical and academic community about wave slamming and simulating them with drop tests.

Eventually, a final experiment strongly influenced by the experiment model found in (Protocol 1, 2014) was formulated. Technical drawings were produced which in turn were given to the NSWCCD DN waterfront fabrication shop at Naval Station Norfolk for fabrication. The fabricated hardware was assembled and instrumented. A predetermined series of drops were performed and data was recorded and analyzed.

Once the reduced data was obtained, trends were observed and conclusions of the research were drawn. Finally, the math models were generated using tools in MATLAB. The math models can be used as a tool to customize a drop test that can simulate a single wave impact. An example of how to customize a drop test to simulate a single wave impact is provided.