WiWaves to Make a Big Splash at the Aeronautical Center
Vol.5 Issue 7
Architectural rendering of the proposed Wind and Wave Evacuation & Survival facility.

Plans are in the making for the Aeronautical Center’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) to construct a new Wind and Wave Evacuation and Survival facility (known as WiWAVES). The WiWAVES facility will eventually replace the aging Water Survival Research Facility (WSRF) at CAMI, which was installed in 1967. The new facility will assist in multiple research efforts supporting the mission of Aviation Safety (AVS) as performed by CAMI’s Aerospace Medical Education (AAM-400) and Research (AAM-600) Divisions which accomplish these critical research and training activities. Other national and local agencies are also interested in the facility such as, the United States Air Force, Air Force Reserves, United States Coast Guard, the United States Navy, NASA, Oklahoma Highway Patrol and various fire departments within Oklahoma City.

The CAMI WiWAVES Research Facility is destined to be a unique research facility, housed in an approximately 43,000 square foot building on the Aeronautical Center grounds. It will be used to establish test criteria and standards for the performance of aircraft evacuation slides, rafts, and other safety devices simulated under "rough seas environments." Simulations will occur in a 100’ x 80’ x 17’ deep water research tank. Rough sea conditions replications involve winds up to 27 knots and a maximum waves of 10’ high.

The water research tank area will be surrounded by the structural and mechanical apparatus needed to simulate the rough seas conditions with wave and wind generation machines. This area will also include built-in machines to support the placement of large research equipment, such as an aircraft fuselage used for ditching evacuations into the water.

Simulations will occur in a 100’ x 80’ x 17’ deep water research tank.

The WiWaves facility will comprise all the ancillary spaces required to support the two primary building functions; research and training. Additional space will be dedicated to a new inflatables laboratory and workshop for the repair, development, and maintenance of inflatable water survival equipment to support the research and training activities. Furthermore, a multi-purpose room capable of supporting a multiple classroom setups, or large sized groups (up to 100 people) of research participants will be available.

The new WiWAVES Facility is not expected to get official approval until 2021 by the Joint Resources Committee, after which time construction can begin, with an estimated completion date of 2024.

Wind and Wave Evacuation and Survival (WiWAVES) Program (1:00 video)

Federal Aviation Aministration (FAA) seal