Surface bonded sensors have significant potential for detecting and characterizing damage in legacy aircraft structures as
part of a Structural Health Monitoring system. In this effort, research has been undertaken to understand the impact of
adhesive viscoelastic properties on the generation of elastic wave energy by surface-bonded sensors in thin plates.
Previous work has shown that bonded sensors can degrade and fail due to exposure to weather, vibration, temperature,
and mechanical loading. In that work, experimental and analytical studies were performed to characterize the transfer of
static load from a structure into a surface-bonded sensor. The results indicated that the sensor should be decoupled from
the nearly static loading induced from the structure to improve its durability. In this effort, we build on that original work
to determine what effect the adhesive has on elastic wave generation and reception in the host structure. The results
indicate that strong coupling with the structure is required for effective generation and reception of elastic waves, where
the elastic material properties of the sensor, bond, and host structure were considered. Although the two goals appear to
be contradictory (sensor durability and elastic wave generation), the use of a strongly viscoelastic adhesive is viewed as
potential solution for both by allowing weak coupling at low frequencies and strong coupling at high frequencies.