With increasing application of composite materials, real time monitoring of composite structures becomes vital for maintenance purpose as well as prevention of catastrophic failure. It has been reported that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have excellent piezoresistive properties, which may enable a new generation of sensors in nano or micro scales. We report here a novel prototype of carbon nanotube yarn sensors with excellent repeatability and stability for in-situ structural health monitoring. The CNT yarn is spun directly from CNT arrays, and its electrical resistance increases linearly with tensile strain, which makes it an ideal strain sensor. Importantly, it shows repeatable piezoresistive behavior under repetitive straining and unloading. Yarn sensors show stable resistances at temperatures ranging from -196° to 110°. Neat yarn sensors are also embedded into resin to monitor the loading conditions of the composites. With multiple yarn sensor elements aligned in the composite, the crack initiation and propagation could be monitored. Yarn sensors could be easily incorporated into composite structures with minimal invasiveness and weight penalty to enable the structure has self-sensing capabilities.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.