The robustness of detection filters applied to the detection of actuator failures on a free-free beam is analyzed. This analysis is based on computer simulation tests of the detection filters in the presence of different types of model mismatch, and on frequency response functions of the transfers corresponding to the model mismatch. The robustness of detection filters based on a model of the beam containing a large number of structural modes varied dramatically with the placement of some of the filter poles. The dynamics of these filters were very hard to analyze. The design of detection filters with a number of modes equal to the number of sensors was trivial. They can be configured to detect any number of actuator failure events. The dynamics of these filters were very easy to analyze and their robustness properties were much improved. A change of the output transformation allowed the filter to perform satisfactorily with realistic levels of model mismatch.