Geotechnics Towing Channel - Aberdeen Open Channel Facility (AOCF)

Research Facilities: Facility

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    School of Engineering University of Aberdeen King's College Aberdeen AB24 3FX

    United Kingdom



Completed in 2008, the Aberdeen Open-Channel Facility consists of three components: a 23m long open channel flume; a motorized instrumental carriage; and a unique modular Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) system. The combination of these three components form a world-class facility for studying smooth- and rough-bed hydrodynamics, sediment transport processes, flow-biota interactions and other aspects of fluvial and eco-hydraulics.

The towing channel was developed in 2002 to facilitate research projects focused on the interaction between moving objects and the seabed. This includes a wide range of applications such as the effect of trawling gear components on the seabed; pipeline–seabed interactions or iceberg keel scouring. The facility consists of a sand channel 4.8m long, 0.8m wide and 0.3 m deep and a trolley, able to move at a controlled velocity ranging from 0.01m/s to 0.2m/s. The trolley is moved along two rails placed on the top of the sand channel by a pulley and wire system driven by an electric motor.


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