Understanding of critical variables in coating properties and fiber design will allow optimization of sensing and communication performance in structurally embedded applications. The severe environmental requirements for optical fibers in smart-skin applications requires advanced research and development in fiber/coating systems. Several approaches to high temperature, thin coating systems are discussed. Optical fiber sensing systems further require a wide range of ability to couple or de-couple external perturbations from propagation characteristics. The effects of coating physical properties, such as modulus and cross-link density on this coupling are investigated.