Date of Last Revision

2021-09-09 21:55:48


Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2018


Modern flight vehicles, such as rockets, missiles, and airplanes, experience a force caused by forebody wave drag during the flight. This drag force is induced when the frontal point of each vehicle breaks the pressure wave during flight. Efforts to reduce this wave drag force to improve flight efficiency include modifying the nosecone profile of the flight vehicles to lower the drag force.

This project revolved around creating a design to make the transformation of nosecone shapes from a ¾ Parabolic profile to a ½ Power Series profile possible, mid-flight. Using a novel nosecone assembly, shape memory alloys (SMAs) and an electronics system, this transition will be dictated by real-time flight velocity.

This technology could benefit society through its use in aerospace applications to improve flight efficiency. On a more personal level, it could improve the possibility of opening up supersonic flight to the public once again. For example, Boom Supersonic is currently designing planes which they hope the public will one day use as a mode of transportation. However, there are many design challenges as one might imagine- including cutting down the drag resistance experienced by the plane in-flight, which translates to having to carry more fuel

Research Sponsor

Dr. Jiahua Zhu

First Reader

Dr. Chelsea Monty

Second Reader

Dr. Robert Veillette


Certain material is withheld from this report for the future patent-ability of this design. Interested readers should contact the author.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.