Increasing significance has to be attributed to the commercial use of the waterways on account of the ever larger ships that as a rule have to cope with the existing cross-sections of the shipping channels. To this end, studies are carried out on ship-induced loading (displacement and propulsion-generated waves and currents) on banks, waterway beds and hydraulic structures, together with vessel movement dynamics in inland and coastal waterways (squat, trim, sway forces and yaw torques etc.). Bottleneck analysis and fairway dimensioning in existing waterways and those to be adapted in future is carried out using routing methods with a simplified approach to the traffic space needed by ships for large-scale navigability analysis, together with ship handling simulation using the coastal waterways simulators at the Hamburg office and inland navigation simulators in Karlsruhe. On-going developments of the basic simulator software take account in particular of the complex reciprocal effects between the moving ship and the dynamic condition of the waterways. Consideration is given to the special demands made by the WSV for optimized rating of waterways.
Test procedures are made available by the BAW for coastal projects for the quality assurance of ship handling simulation. It also provides the operators of ship handling simulators with current fields from mathematical simulation models of the coastal shipping routes for the initial and advanced training of nautical staff.