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


Zhongquan Zheng


The NASA University Leadership Initiative (ULI) titled ”Adaptive Aerostructures for Revolutionary Civil Supersonic Transportation” consists of a team of university and industry partners studying the feasibility of reducing the perceived loudness of the sonic boom by introducing an adaptive geometry at localized regions of an aircraft’s outer-mold line. The Utah State University AeroLab is a member of this ULI team and has produced low-fidelity tools to predict the aerodynamic and boom loudness effects from localized changes to the geometry.

Such changes to the geometry affect both the sonic boom loudness and wave drag; however, the precise relationship between boom loudness and wave drag is not well understood for a morphing supersonic geometry. The current work utilizes an equivalent area approach and expresses this equivalent area using a Fourier sine series. An optimization routine was used to search for the Fourier coefficients that produce a minimum perceived level of decibels of the sonic boom for an optimized equivalent area distribution. The results for each candidate are compared against the Sears-Haack’s equivalent area, ground pressure signature, perceived noise, and wave drag. These tools were used to obtain a Pareto front of solutions to better understand the theoretical trade-off between wave drag and perceived noise on the ground as equivalent area changes on a supersonic geometry.