Empirical estimation of low-frequency nonlinear hydrodynamic loads on moored structures
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Low-frequency (LF) motions of floating structures are commonly modeled as the response of an oscillator to a second-order wave excitation. We present here an empirical method that reliably estimates the oscillators parameters and quadratic transfer function (QTF) used in such models. The method is based on an active stationkeeping system that enables to accurately control external boundary conditions applied on the floating structure in a wave basin. The resulting system can be successively tuned to different frequency ranges of interest. Then, by deconvolution and optimization, LF damping and added-mass loads, as well as a response-independent wave excitation load, can be evaluated. From the wave elevation, and estimated load time series, the difference-frequency QTF is finally estimated by a cross-bi-spectral analysis, including a new treatment of statistical noise. The paper describes the proposed method in details, and illustrates it with the study of a ship-shaped floating unit in a sea-state of relevance for the fatigue design of mooring systems (steep waves, low return period).