Urmi B. Khode

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Stefan Dragos Dancila


High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) airships are platform of interest due to their persistent observation and persistent communication capabilities. A novel HALE airship design configuration incorporates a composite sandwich propulsive hull duct between the front and the back of the hull for significant drag reduction via blown wake effects. The sandwich composite shell duct is subjected to hull pressure on its outer walls and flow suction on its inner walls which result in in-plane wall compressive stress, which may cause duct buckling. An approach based upon finite element stability analysis combined with a ply layup and foam thickness determination weight minimization search algorithm is utilized. Its goal is to achieve an optimized solution for the configuration of the sandwich composite as a solution to a constrained minimum weight design problem, for which the shell duct remains stable with a prescribed margin of safety under prescribed loading. The stability analysis methodology is first verified by comparing published analytical results for a number of simple cylindrical shell configurations with FEM counterpart solutions obtained using the commercially available code ABAQUS. Results show that the approach is effective in identifying minimum weight composite duct configurations for a number of representative combinations of duct geometry, composite material and foam properties, and propulsive duct applied pressure loading.


Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington