Full scale measurements of wave impact loads and their statistics in real sea states are desirable for validation of numerical simulations and for application to marine engineering design problems. Measuring and/or estimating wave forces on flat plates are especially problematic due to statistics of large waves in a given sea state, the intermittent statistics of wave breaking, the sensitivity of the loading relative to the phase of the incoming wave and scaling issues when translating from model scale data to full-scale. To increase our understanding of wave hydrodynamic pressures on a flat plate, an instrumented plate was deployed from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s research pier. The instrumented plate is exposed to a wide range of wave conditions with Hs ranging from 3–4 m in the winter and with Hs in the 1–2 m range in the summer. The instrumented flat plate is composed of three discrete modules containing 6 pressure gages. Data are being collected over a extended period, nominally 12 months, to characterize extreme value distributions due to wave impact loading.

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