MS Proposal by James Van Der Linden

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Wednesday December 15, 2021
      9:00 am - 11:00 am
  • Location: Collaborative Visualization Environment (CoVE) Weber Space Science and Technology Building (SST II)
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  • URL: Bluejeans
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Summary Sentence: Conceptual Effectiveness-Based hypeRsonic EvaluatioN (CEBREN)

Full Summary: No summary paragraph submitted.

James Van Der Linden

(Advisor: Prof. Dimitri Mavris]

will propose a master’s thesis entitled,

Conceptual Effectiveness-Based hypeRsonic EvaluatioN (CEBREN)


Wednesday, December 15 at 9:00 a.m.


Collaborative Design Environment (CoDE)

Weber Space Science and Technology Building (SST II)



For decades, the United States has largely been uncontested in its quest to advance its national interests in every domain – to protect the American people, promote prosperity, preserve peace, and advance American influence. However, actors have steadily implemented their long-term plans to challenge America, and today, nearly every domain is contested. To maintain technological superiority, the National Security Strategy calls upon the military to field new capabilities that clearly overmatch US adversaries in lethality with speed and affordability. Furthermore, the US military has identified hypersonics as an area of interest to stay competitive on the global stage. Hypersonics are so important that Undersecretary for Research and Development stated that “there has to be a first, and hypersonics is my first.” Hypersonics have been around for over 70 years ranging from the X-20 to the Space Shuttle; however, these projects were products of the traditional design-build-test methodology which often never saw flight. This design-build-test methodology is unable to meet the demands of technological growth and complexity and often drives up costs and overruns. Thus, there is a need to develop a new methodology for assessing hypersonic weapon capability rapidly to support interactive decision making for conceptual development.

Hypersonic conceptual design distinguishes itself from traditional aircraft design because the disciplines that must be considered are highly coupled and tightly integrated which drastically increases design risk due to sources of uncertainty. Due to this uncertainty, conceptual design is critical because decisions made have profound ramifications throughout the entire process. To address this uncertainty, physical experiments are required to provide the highest quality of data; however, they are extremely limited in scope and expensive. Hence, there is a need to make cost effective, informed decisions at the conceptual design level when designing novel hypersonic vehicles. To achieve greater performance and affordability, Secretary Griffin, suggested the DoD turn to digital computing, analytical capabilities, and new technologies to shift away from the design-build-test methodology to a model-analyze-build methodology. Due to the coupling of disciplines within hypersonic conceptual design, a Multidisciplinary Design Analysis and Optimization (MDAO) environment appropriately coupled will be used to design novel hypersonic vehicles. Along with a need to switch towards a digital approach to reduce cost there is a need to evaluate alternatives to aid in decision making. One concept that has the capability to help is agent-based modelling which allows decision makers to examine system limitations, assess trade-offs, and architect better arrangements. Additionally, agent-based modeling allows decision makers to study the effectiveness of aircraft and weapons in all levels of readiness through operational analysis (OA). By

integrating an MDAO environment with an OA framework, a novel hypersonic weapon can be constructed, and its capability assessed in a scenario known as effectiveness-based design (EDB). Within EBD, the design objective is shifted from performance metrics (e.g., weight, range, etc.) to effectiveness metrics (e.g. targets killed, survival, etc.) which allows engineers to consider and understand the implications of design-space-limiting decisions earlier in the process, shifting away from over-defining requirements before exploring potential best solutions to the problem.

This proposal seeks to present a new methodology to address the need of designing and rapidly assessing hypersonic capability to better inform the decision maker by integrating OA within an MDAO environment thereby closing the loop by coupling the effectiveness to vehicle design parameters. Additionally, this methodology will allow engineers to compare several configurations against the same mission criteria as well as set vehicle design requirements.



• Prof. Dimitri Mavris – School of Aerospace Engineering (advisor)

• Dr. Alicia Sudol – School of Aerospace Engineering

• Dr. Kenneth Decker – School of Aerospace Engineering

Meeting ID: 756 556 587    Participant Passcode: 7322

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

Graduate Studies

Invited Audience
Faculty/Staff, Public, Undergraduate students
MS Proposal
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Dec 3, 2021 - 2:54pm
  • Last Updated: Dec 16, 2021 - 12:25pm