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Acoustic emission system for ship hull monitoring

ShipHullSHM: Bespoke acoustic emission system for real-time ship hull monitoring for all weather conditions


The European ship repair and maintenance industry suffers from outdated techniques, high labour costs and depressed prices: ship repair operations are inefficient because currently it is impossible to quantify accurately the extent of work required before the ship is in dock. More economic, less time-consuming, automatic and safer inspections of ship hulls are desired. The solution should be continuous in-service monitoring for early identification of damage.


The project aims to commercialise an innovative ship hull structural health monitoring (SHM) system based on acoustic emission sensors and instrumentation for use in noise-dominated dynamic and critical environments to improve the safety and profitability of the European ship industry.


The innovative technology will implement continuous monitoring of ships’ hulls to localise incipient failures, thus greatly increasing the efficiency of the ship repair process, guiding shipyard operations carried out by repair and maintenance providers and supporting vessel management by ship owners. ShipHullSHM has the capability to save the EU and other countries a total of €6Bn in lost revenue, ship replacement and insurance compensation, and installation of the ShipHullSHM could result in €1.2Bn per annum net savings to ship operators.

Project Partners

  • ETS Sistemi Industriali
  • Brunel University London

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Related Research Group(s)

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Project last modified 18/05/2021