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Underwater Collision Research Facility

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Our Underwater Collision Research Facility aims to further the scientific understanding of the crashworthiness of submarines, AUVs and other marine vehicles.

The Underwater Collision Research Facility (UCRF) is a joint development between Defence Science and Technology (DST) and the AMC. The UCRF aims to provide means through which the complex, fluid-structure interactions involved in underwater collision events can be studied scientifically under laboratory conditions. Accurate knowledge of the response of the fore-end structure of a submarine vehicle involved in a collision is important to the safety of the submarine structure and its crew. Developing the understanding of this behaviour may be considered somewhat similar to work performed to prove, and improve, the crashworthiness design of motor vehicles, but in water. Through this work, the technical risks associated with underwater and near-surface collisions, will be able to be accurately assessed, so that effective mitigations may be introduced.

Drop weight impact tower

Our drop weight impact tower is designed to investigate diverse collision scenarios using scale model specimens of fluid backed shell structures (vented and enclosed).


At a Glance

Maximum Impact energy

18 kJoules (in air)

Maximum Striker mass

500 kg

Maximum striker dimensions

☐ 500 mm

Drop weight impact chamber

The UCRF’s drop weight impact chamber is designed to investigate fully flooded collision scenarios using scale model specimens of fluid backed shell structures.


At a Glance

Maximum Impact energy

1.20 kJoules (in air)

0.45 kJoules (flooded)

Maximum Striker mass

87 kg

Maximum striker dimensions

Ø 250 mm

3D laser scanner

The UCRF is equipped with a highly accurate and portable 3D laser Scanner/ Coordinate Measuring Machine to generate digital representations of the collision models’ topology before and after experimental testing.

At a Glance

Scanning arm reach

Ø 3.0 m

Laser measuring speed

600,000 points/s

Scanner line width

200 mm

Scanner accuracy

40 µm

AMC Videos

High speed video of collision experiments

A joint development between:

department of defense logo     amc-utas logo