On the 5th of December 2012 Flanders Hydraulics Research (FHR) performed a survey on the MV Cape Aster (292 m x 45 m x 14.2 m) departing from the Western port of Dunkirk and mooring to the Arcelor Mittal plant in the Eastern port of Dunkirk. The survey was organized on request of the port authority Port of Dunkirk, with the support of the Dunkirk pilotage in order to analyse the ship behaviour during the passing of the Charles de Gaulle Lock in the Eastern port of Dunkirk. Main objective was to determine the hydrodynamic effects corresponding to the entering of the lock with a ship of maximum dimensions with respect to the actual regulations.
A six dimensional (three translations and three rotations) high-frequency position measurement was logged. During the survey also the rudder angle, propeller rate and application of tugboats was captured.
The survey revealed the effects of lock entering on ship speed and lateral and vertical ship motions and gives a complete description of the execution of the lock manoeuvre. Based on the survey on the MV Cape Aster it was concluded that in order to assess the accesibility of wider bulk carriers to the locks, more experimental data (e.g. from model-testing) are required.