Coastal & Ocean Basin Ostend (Belgium)

COB & Flanders Maritime Laboratory

Coastal & Ocean Basin Ostend

COB logoThe Coastal & Ocean Basin (COB), located in Ostend, Belgium, is designed to study the effect of waves and currents on coastal and offshore structures, the generation of freak waves and the hydrodynamic and structural behaviour of devices for marine renewable energy. With basin dimensions of 30 m x 30 m, a variable water depth up to 1.4 m and wave-current interaction in any relative direction, the infrastructure offers excellent test conditions for coastal to near offshore applications related to coastal defence plans, offshore/floating structures and renewable energy technologies. A central pit of up to 4.5 m deep allows for testing of mooring applications. The COB welcomes users from academia, industry and governmental institutions.

The COB is part of Flanders Maritime Laboratory, one of the international and "heavy" research infrastructures in which the Flemish Department of Economy, Science and Innovation and the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) have invested over the past decade. In addition to the COB, the Flanders Maritime Laboratory also houses a shallow water towing tank, that allows for maneuvering tests with scale models up to 8 meters in length. These facilities will strengthen the international research position of Flanders in the field of coastal and offshore engineering.

Wide field of applications

The Coastal & Ocean Basin Ostend offers a wide range of possible applications for researchers and companies, with excellent conditions for scale testing of:

  • Coastal structures
  • Offshore structures
  • Ocean energy
  • Floating structures & mooring applications
  • Nature based coastal defense solutions
  • Testing of observation equipment
  • 6 DOF Motion tracking

COB wide field of applications

COB Specifications


  • Basin dimensions (L x W x H): 30 x 30 x 2.3 m
  • Variable water depth (0.4 – 1.4 m), central pit of up to 4.5 m deep
  • Wave heights up to 0.55 m
  • Currents up to 0.4 m/s
  • Wave-current interaction in any relative direction


  • L-shaped wavemaker (20 x 20 m)
  • 86 Piston type wave paddles, offering very realistic sea states
  • Regular and irregular, first and second order, long- and short-crested waves
  • Active wave absorption


  • Propeller type current generation
  • Flexible current direction
  • Excellent quality velocity profile
  • Turbulence level suppression

Coastal & Ocean Basin Ostend

    Video: First wave generator start-up tests at COB Ostend  

    Project portfolio

    The Coastal & Ocean Basin Ostend has completed several projects within its wide field of applications:

    • WECfarm project: Experimental modelling of an array of five point absorber wave energy converters 


    PhairywinD monopile

    Partners & funding

    The Coastal & Ocean Basin Ostend is managed by a consortium composed of Ghent University, KU Leuven and Flanders Hydraulics Research, and is supported by a number of strategic key partners:

    COB consortium partners.png

    The COB received funding from different projects and institutions:

    • Gen4Wave project
      - initiated by UGent & AGORIA Generaties
      - organised by UGent / KU Leuven / FHR
    • Hercules foundation project (now FWO)
      - large research infrastructure
      - wavemaker & current generator
    • VLAIO (formerly IWT)
      - research infrastructure and personnel
    • Department of Mobility and Public Works
      - housing and concrete structures

    Funding partners.png


    Coastal & Ocean Basin - Flanders Maritime Laboratory

    Wetenschapspark 8

    8400 Oostende (Belgium)

    Google Maps


    Prof. Maximilian Streicher

    COB Director

    Department of Civil Engineering

    +32 (0)471 44 75 61