The polymer composites are extensively used as advanced materials for various engineering applications such as aviation, marine, automobile and civil structures because of its unique superior properties. The anisotropic nature of the composite makes it as a complicated material to predict strain and damage induced in it under the real-time loading. In order to improve safety and reliability of these composite materials, the real-time strain induced in the composite needs to monitor continuously. With that focus, nanoparticles such as reduced graphene oxide and nano-nickel-coated glass fibre are fabricated and characterised for damage sensing application for the polymer composites reported in this work. The concept of embedding nanoparticles-coated glass fibres in an array of rows and columns as damage sensor is demonstrated by studying its real-time piezoresistive response under medium-velocity impact. When embedded composites are subjected to impact, the corresponding row and column sensor show variation in the piezoresistance. Thus, by monitoring the piezoresistance of the coated glass fibre, the damage and its location can be predicted. Thus, localisation and degree of damage induced in the polymer composites can be predicted by monitoring the piezoresistance of the embedded glass fibre under impact loading. © The Author(s) 2018.