The proposed innovation is a robust, bio-inspired, and self-contained sensor array for the measurement of shear stress. The proposed system uses commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) components to create a distributed sensor array for the measurement of shear stress in either a flight or ground test environment. The reusable sensor array requires no external wiring or power source. The bio-inspired system is based on mimicking the sensitivity and response of a single hair fiber/receptor neuron to sense flow velocity very near a surface. An array of the hair cell inspired shear sensors are embedded in a flexible, self-adhesive backed sheet of polymide substrate, which also contains a self-contained, battery operated acquisition system. The self-contained blanket array can be quickly and easily applied to aircraft or vehicle surfaces in question. No wiring, external power, or control is required. After testing, the system can be quickly removed and reused. In addition to measurement of shear stress, the sensor array should be able to determine laminar/turbulent boundary-layer transition locations, laminar/turbulent separation and reattachment lines, and shock locations. The proposed bio-inspired shear sensor array promises to provide a robust, realizable, accurate, efficient, and cost effective measurement system.