Carderock Division
West Bethesda, MD

The Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWCCD) is the Navy's center of excellence for ships and ship systems. The key elements in its technological success are the breadth and depth of its capabilities and the expertise of its scientists and engineers. With unique laboratories and test facilities, large-scale land-based engineering and test sites, and at-sea measurement facilities throughout the United States. Carderock has been at the forefront of technologies vital to the success of the Navy and the maritime industry for more than a century. NSWCCD is a major component of the Naval Sea Systems Command.

The Division's primary locations are its headquarters in West Bethesda, Maryland and the Ship Systems Engineering Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Carderock Division headquarters is located in West Bethesda, MD approximately 12 miles northwest of the Nation's Capital.

The directorates at the Carderock site are active in hydrodynamics, propulsor acoustic and non-acoustic signatures, ship structures and protection, aerodynamics, logistics, mathematics, and systems engineering.

The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division (NSWC,CD) was formerly the David Taylor Research Center (DTRC), formerly the David Taylor Naval Ship Research and Development Center (DTNSRDC), formerly the Naval Ship Research and Development Center (NSRDC), and finally formerly the David Taylor Model Basin (DTMB), Bethesda, MD.

In 1896, Congress, at the urging of David W. Taylor, approved the construction of the Experimental Model Basin at the Washington Navy Yard. In 1936 Congress approved construction of a new, longer model basin for "...U.S. vessels including aircraft and the investigation of other problems of ship design..." in Carderock, Maryland. The new facility was given the name David Taylor Model Basin in honor of the late Rear Admiral David W. Taylor.

On 4 November 1939, as World War II began in Europe, the David Taylor Model Basin (DTMB) was dedicated, then quickly outfitted because of accelerated war appropriations. During the war, most work was concerned with solutions to specific war-related problems. Research and development, oriented toward future needs, was relegated to a low priority in the program. The Navy's aeronautic research program was augmented with the construction of two wind tunnels at Carderock, and the transfer there of the Navy Aerodynamics Laboratory in January 1944. At the same time, the towing basin was extended to its present length of 3,000 feet.

After the war, work continued at Carderock with little interruption. Research and development emphasis shifted to testing of exotic concepts oriented toward solutions for future needs. Two supersonic wind tunnels were shipped to Carderock as war prizes from Germany.

In 1952, the Applied Mathematics Laboratory was organized at Carderock and equipped with a Univac computer. The Carderock site was expanded in 1961 by the addition of the 36-inch Variable Pressure Cavitation Tunnel and the Maneuvering and Seakeeping Facilities. In 1964 Carderock was assigned the Navy hydrofoil program. On 31 March 1967 David Taylor Model Basin at Carderock, Maryland, and the Marine Engineering Laboratory at Annapolis, Maryland, were merged to establish the Naval Ship Research and Development Center (NSRDC, later DTNSRDC), now known as the Carderock Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center.

The David Taylor Model Basin Building is 3200 feet long and houses three unique independent towing basin test facilities: the Shallow Water Basin, the Deep Water Basin, and the High Speed Basin. These model towing basins are among the largest and the best in the world. The seakeeping qualities and propulsion characteristics of models in head and following seas are determined in the Deep Water and High Speed Basins with wavemakers which are capable of producing either uniform or irregular waves. These three Towing Basins are used for a wide variety of hydrodynamic tests including: resistance, self-propulsion, static stability in calm water, open water propeller characterizations, self-propelled model steering maneuvers, unsteady propeller blade force measurements, wake surveys, knot-meter calibrations under simulated dynamic conditions, vertical and horizontal planar motion experiments, hydrodynamic forces on submerged bodies, foils, etc., towed body experiments, and longitudinal wave cut experiments. The High Speed Basin is used to measure hydrodynamic forces on hydrofoils, planing boats, and other high speed craft operating in calm water and in waves. The water level in the Shallow Water Basin can be varied to simulate rivers, canals, and restricted channels.

The David Taylor Model Towing Basins are enclosed by an arched, reinforced concrete roof with a span of 110 feet. Towing Carriages run along rails which follow the curvature of the earth's surface. As a result, the action of gravity on the Carriages is constant, regardless of their position on the tracks. The tops of the rails lie concentric with the still water surface throughout the length of the basins. All the rail foundations rest upon bed rock. The Towing Carriages are powered by either electric or electro-hydraulic drive systems with regenerative braking action. Each is equipped with model motor power supplies, minicomputer data acquisition systems, photographic lights, and thrust, torque, and force measuring dynamometry. Recently microwave communication systems have been installed on each of the Towing Carriages to provide a capability for transmitting real time digital data, voice, and video signals between shore and the Carriages during test runs.

BRAC 2005

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Detroit Arsenal, MI, by relocating Sea Vehicle Development and Acquisition to Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division, Bethesda, MD. This recommendation would position technical sites for jointness through co-location with functions at the receiving locations. It would also increase efficiency by consolidating program management of Sea Vehicle Development and Acquisition (D&A) from three sites to two principal sites. The consolidation and co-location would leverage existing concentration of research, design and development, and acquisition support capabilities residing within the US Navy Headquarters and Warfare Center RD&A infrastructure. Program management for D&A would be at the Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard. In support of joint and transformational initiatives, this recommendation would relocate management and direction of Theater Support Vessels (TSV) and other Sea Vehicle/Watercraft programs for US Army to the Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard. Consolidation of all program management of Sea Vehicle Programs at the Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard would co-locate these functions and align with related program offices supporting Sea Vehicle Weapons and Combat systems, Hull Mechanical and Electrical, C4I integration and related sea vehicle equipment and support functions. This would also place it near the principal technical direction and development agent for sea vehicles located at Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division in Bethesda, MD.

This recommendation would be consistent with the existing partnership collaboration between the USA and the USN on Theater Support Vessels as reflected in a Memorandum of Understanding between the US Army Program Executive Office (PEO) for Combat Support and Combat Service Support (PEO CS & CSS) and the US Navy PEO for Ships Systems. The recommendation would enhance synergy by consolidating Sea Vehicle functions to major sites, preserve healthy competition, leverage existing infrastructure, minimize environmental impact, and effect reasonable homeland security risk dispersal. The recommendation would increase efficiency by making a robust acquisition organization available to all DoD Sea Vehicle and watercraft program requirements and will increase efficiency by reducing overall manpower requirements.

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