Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Douglas F. Hunsaker


Douglas F. Hunsaker


Stephen A. Whitmore


Matthew W. Harris


The NASA University Leadership Initiative (ULI) titled “Adaptive Aerostructures for Revolutionary Civil Supersonic Transportation” looks to study the feasibility of distributed structural adaptivity on a supersonic aircraft for maintaining acceptable en-route sonic boom loudness during overland flight. The ULI includes a team of industry and university partners that are working together to develop and implement the systems necessary to accomplish this goal.

The Utah State University Aerolab is a member of this ULI team and has been tasked with developing and using low-fidelity supersonic aerodynamic and sonic boom predictions tools to rapidly study the effects of localized geometry changes on a supersonic aircraft’s sonic boom loudness. The current work utilizes the equivalent-area distribution of a supersonic aircraft to study the effects of these localized geometry changes.

The speed of these low-fidelity tools gives them an advantage over the higher fidelity computational methods such as CFD. The low-fidelity tools used in the current work allow for the study of thousands of geometric changes over a variety of flight conditions in a relatively small amount of time. The results of these studies provide areas of sensitivity that can be used in the higher fidelity CFD work as well as initial actuator and structural design.