A concise account of techniques available for shipboard sea state estimation

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This article gives a review of techniques applied to make sea state estimation on the basis of measured responses on a ship. The general concept of the procedures is similar to that of a classical wave buoy, which exploits a linear assumption between waves and the associated motions. In the frequency domain, this assumption yields the mathematical relation between the measured motion spectra and the directional wave spectrum. The analogy between a buoy and a ship is clear, and the author has worked on this wave buoy analogy for about fifteen years. In the article, available techniques for shipboard sea state estimation are addressed, but with a focus on only the wave buoy analogy. Most of the existing work is based on methods established in the frequency domain but, to counteract disadvantages of the frequency-domain procedures, newer studies are working also on procedures formulated directly in the time domain. Sample results from several studies are included, and the main findings from these are mentioned.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOcean Engineering
Pages (from-to)352-362
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Sea state estimation
  • Wave buoy analogy
  • Vessel responses
  • Frequency domain
  • Time domain


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