The University of Southampton
Engineering and the Environment

Research project: Development of Printed Smart Fabric Sensors for the Marine Industry

Currently Active: 

The targeted development of novel smart fabric technology for in-situ monitoring in the challenging marine environment.

Project Overview

Novel technology: Smart printed sensors have been developed in house at the University of Southampton for the industrial and bio-medical industries(  and ). The sensors can be printed directly onto fabrics using screen and inkjet technology. Typical sensors include pressure, motion and touch, electroluminescent lamps, heaters, gas and humidity sensors. The need to develop in-house sensor technology stems from the deficiencies found with commercial sensors for marine applications.


Drop tests using a commercially available tactile pressure sensor
Drop tests
Drop tests using a commercially available tactile pressure sensor
Drop tests









The application: The primary aim of this project is to investigate the application of smart printed pressure sensors to the in-situ monitoring of hull loadings. This will require testing the sensor performance in the dynamic marine environment as well as considering the practicalities of installing the sensors in-situ on a vessel.

The outcome: The target outcome from this project is the ability to create a “smart vessel” that fully demonstrates the practical abilities of the smart sensors as an in-situ monitoring system for collecting data that enables the improvement of maintenance cycles, economics, ship survivability and advances marine structural design.

A typical pressure map over the stern of a vessel measured during experiments
A typical pressure map

Related research groups

Fluid Structure Interactions


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