US Army Corps of Engineers

Coastal Inlets Research Program

Vessel Wake Prediction Tool (VWPT), v3.13

Vessel Wake image
Description: The Vessel Wake Prediction Tool (VWPT) is a low-level exploratory tool to assess the relative contribution of vessel wake to other energy sources including currents and tides, which can be used to infer the potential for shoreline change. The application uses simplified algorithms reported in the literature that predict wake height as a function of vessel characteristics such as speed, beam, length and draft. The algorithms calculate wake energy in a graphical user interface that can display basic parameters and export results into a spreadsheet format. A stochastic feature that computes the cumulative effect of multiple vessels operating in a given waterway is also included. The VWPT is written in MATLAB, a commercially available software package designed for high-performance data analysis, model building and visualization. Because not all users have access to MATLAB, an executable file has been developed for Windows platforms. MATLAB users can also access the source code by contacting the development team.
Benefits: The VWPT is a useful precursor to more quantitative evaluation techniques, by providing a rapid, low-order assessment of the potential impacts of vessel wake in comparison to other forcing and to help determine the requirements and needs for a more comprehensive study.
Application: The VWPT offers a low-level (exploratory) assessment on the relative contribution of energy dissipation due to vessel wake compared to the ambient dissipation caused by tidal and river flow, which can be a measure of the potential for shoreline change. The tool should be used in conjunction with other more quantitative methods (e.g., measurements) to help explore 'what if' scenarios where vessel wake is important. The long-term strategy is to incorporate newer information and algorithms as they become available to improve model performance and applicability, while maintaining an easily accessible computational tool.

Application Installer
  1. Requires administrator privileges to install.
  2. Until approved for the App-portal, CorpsNet users must request a manual install.
  3. The installer program will download the appropriate version of MatLab Runtime unless it already exists on the system.
  4. Once installed, the name of the program in the start folder is "VesselWake_UI_3.13"
System Requirements
  • Vessel Wake Installer
  • MatLab Runtime R2019b (v9.7)

Documentation and Support

Points of Contact
Engineer Research and Development Center
Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory
Vicksburg, MS 39180