Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Richard "Pat" Anderson

First Committee Member

Dr. Scott Martin

Second Committee Member

Dr. Mark Ricklick

Third Committee Member

Dr. John Ekaterinaris


In the summer of 2014, Performance Designs, Inc. contacted Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Eagle Flight Research Center to lead an investigation on square parachute design and optimization using modern computational methods to reduce costs in experimental testing. This thesis investigates the foundation for using an implicit fluid-structure interaction computational model to tackle the challenges of modeling a highly-flexible, porous fabric for design optimization of a parafoil parachute’s transient performance. Canopy deformations of a single-cell square parafoil using a fluid-structure interaction (FSI) model with nonlinear material modeling is compared to an experimental setup of matching geometry. The results of this thesis yielded a partial match of 25% between the experimental and FSI model deformations and thus asserts that fluid-structural modeling using ANSYS Multiphysics can be used to model square parachutes.