Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Christina Bloebaum


Coupling of physics in large-scale complex engineering systems must be correctly accounted for during the systems engineering process. Preliminary corrections ensure no unanticipated behaviors arise during operation. Structural vibration of large segmented solid rocket motors, known as thrust oscillation, is a well-documented problem that can effect solid rocket motors in adverse ways. Within the Ares 1 rocket, unexpected vibrations deemed potentially harmful to future crew were recorded during late stage flight that propagated from the engine chamber to the Orion crew module. This research proposes the use of a coupling strength analysis during the design and development phase to identify potential unanticipated behaviors such as thrust oscillation. Once these behaviors and couplings are identified then a value function, based on research in Value Driven Design, is proposed to evaluate mitigation strategies and their impact on system value. The results from this study showcase a strong coupling interaction from structural displacement back onto the fluid flow of the Ares 1 that was previously deemed inconsequential. These findings show that the use of a coupling strength analysis can aid engineers and managers in identifying unanticipated behaviors and then rank order their importance based on the impact they have on value.


Copyright Owner

David Kis



File Format


File Size

77 pages