Routine, nondestructive inspectsions of aircraft components take place at periodic intervals before and during operation of an aircarft to ensure safety of flight. These mandated inspections focus on damage caused by impact, flight induced stress, or manufacturing defect. Currently, most of these inspections are time consuming, expensive, and result in significant downtime of the aircraft. This invention is directed to nanosensors that can detect structural change in aircraft components. The nanotube array sensors provide continuous information on stress, strain, defects, thermal effects, and cracking that can be immediately analyzed on-board, eliminating routine pre and post flight inspections. This invention ensures safety, decreases aircraft maintenance lifecycle costs, and increases aircraft useful life. The nanosensors can also be used to detect structural changes similarly in vehicles, machines and buildings.

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Natasha Sanford