Date of Award


Project Type



Mechanical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

M. Robinson Swift

Second Advisor

Kenneth C. Baldwin

Third Advisor

Barbaros Celikkol


Scale model tests were completed in the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Wave/Tow tank to determine the movements and forces on two different fish cage models. The results of the testing were used to validate a finite element analysis and also were scaled up to that of a full sized, deployed fish cage used for aquaculture purposes.

The first model was a “skeleton” cage (without nets) rectangular in shape. This model was moored submerged in front of a viewing window and subjected to various regular waves. The motions were then recorded nonintrusively by means of an optical system acting through a viewport within the sidewall of the wavetank. The results of this testing were then compared to that of the finite element program under development in a parallel effort.

The second model was a 1/15.2 scale model of an Ocean Spar fish cage, which UNH first deployed in 1999. This model was towed at various speeds while the forces were measured using a load cell. The model was also towed with different amounts of netting applied, which simulated varying degrees of biofouling. Experiments included both surface and submerged configurations. The back or “downstream” panels of netting were also removed to determine the effect they had on the total drag of the model. The forces obtained by towing have been scaled up using Froude scaling to that of the full size, deployed fish cage.