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The SPAIR method : Isolating incident and reflected directional wave spectra in multidirectional wave basins

Draycott, S. and Davey, T. and Ingram, D. M. and Day, A. and Johanning, L. (2016) The SPAIR method : Isolating incident and reflected directional wave spectra in multidirectional wave basins. Coastal Engineering, 114. pp. 265-283. ISSN 0378-3839

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Wave tank tests aiming to reproduce realistic or site specific conditions will commonly involve using directionally spread, short-crested sea states. The measurement of these directional characteristics is required for the purposes of calibrating and validating the modelled sea state. Commonly used methods of directional spectrum reconstruction, based on directional spreading functions, have an inherent level of uncertainty associated with them. In this paper we aim to reduce the uncertainty in directional spectrum validation by introducing the SPAIR (Single-summation PTPD Approach with In-line Reflections) method, in combination with a directional wave gauge array. A variety of wave conditions were generated in the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility, Edinburgh, UK, to obtain a range of sea state and reflection scenarios. The presented approach is found to provide improved estimates of directional spectra over standard methods, reducing the mean apparent directional deviation down to below 6% over the range of sea states. Additionally, the method isolates incident and reflected spectra in both the frequency and time domain, and can separate these wave systems over 360°. The accuracy of the method is shown to be only slightly sensitive to the level of in-line reflection present, but at present cannot deal with oblique reflections. The SPAIR method, as presented or with slight modification, will allow complex directional sea states to be validated more effectively, enabling multidirectional wave basins to simulate realistic wave scenarios with increased confidence.