This paper describes the robustness of a structural health monitoring system (SHM) that utilizes lead-zirconatetitanate (PZT) transducers tested on carbon fibre composite coupons under drop-weight impact loading. Four PZT transducers are attached to the surface of 10.16 cm x 15.24 cm aerospace grade carbon fibre coupons using four types of adhesives: cyanoacrylate, epoxy, methyl methacrylate, and silicon. Each PZT transducer is tuned to excite preferentially an A0 mode guided wave burst into each composite coupon prior to and following an impact. The output from a PZT transducer, the amplitude of the propagating guided waves measured using a laser vibrometer on the coupon surface and the RMS velocity is plotted. The cycle is repeated for the three remaining transducers. The electrical admittance is also measured using an impedance analyzer prior to and following impact. This paper illustrates how a robustness metric expressed in terms of admittance can be used to infer the ability of the SHM system to generate guided waves and to detect damage following impact. The robustness metric is a measure of the adhesive strength and the mechanism to provide accurate damage detection results. It is shown that transducers attached using silicon provide accurate damage detection results based on pre-attached adhesive yielding difference of <0.5% obtained from electrical admittance measurements before and after impact.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.