An accurate assessment of composite structural performance and proactive component and system life management strategies requires quantitative information on the damage states of the components. Recent advances in infra-red (IR) sensing and data processing technologies have enabled real-time thermoelastic stress analysis (TSA) methodologies to finally become viable for accurate diagnostics and prognostics of composite structures. The success of these thermography methods, however, depends strongly on the characteristics of the surface layer. In this SBIR program Materials Technologies Corporation proposes to design, develop and implement specialized, multi-purpose witness layers for carbon composite structures which would facilitate high accuracy quantitative thermoelastic analysis through improved IR response and thus enable on-going in-situ diagnostics (and prognostics) during component lifecycle without necessitating disassembly and off-line inspection. Phase I program will be based on concept feasibility demonstration through extensive experimental and FE analysis. At the end of Phase II program, samples of developed coating systems will be delivered to the NASA program manager for further evaluation.