Aircrafts require a set of ground checks to ensure they are safe to fly, which can be a lengthy process and even delay takeoff. BAE Systems hope to minimize this downtime with a "smart skin" equipped with thousands of micro-sensors that can detect any issues the plane may have.
According to Engadget, the coating would be able to sense wind speed, temperature and movement. The idea is to mimic the way human skin works as it sends impulses to the brain. This would help to reduce the need for physical inspections on the ground. The system would also have maintenance crews replace parts and fix issues before they actually become unsafe.
The smart skin is still in the development phase and BAE is working on making the sensors smaller, to the size of a grain of rice. They would then be able to spray the sensors on aircrafts like paint.
Learn more about the smart skin technology in the video below.