Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

William A. Engblom, Ph. D.

First Committee Member

Jean-Michel Dhainaut, Ph. D.

Second Committee Member

Sathya Gangadharan, Ph. D.


A design optimization process is developed to define the wing box structure for High-Altitude Long-Endurance Aircraft (HALE). The goal of this study is to determine the best tradeoff between mass and rigidity of a HALE aircraft wing structure. A preliminary composite laminate structural design procedure is described which uses a NASTRAN-based Finite Element Analysis (FEA), and the Hierarchical Evolutionary Engineering Design System (HEEDS) MDO software to define a locus of acceptable, optimized wing box design definitions.