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 to ensure no unanticipated behaviors or unintended consequences arise in the system during operation. Structural vibration of large segmented solid rocket motors, known as thrust oscillation, is a well-documented problem that can affect the health and safety of any crew onboard. Within the Ares 1 rocket, larger than anticipated vibrations were recorded during late stage flight that propagated from the engine chamber to the Orion crew module. Upon investigation engineers found the root cause to be the structure of the rockets feedback onto fluid flow within the engine. The goal of this paper is to showcase a coupling strength analysis from the field of Multidisciplinary Design Optimization to identify the major impacts that caused the Thrust Oscillation event in the Ares 1. Once identified an uncertainty analysis of the coupled system using an uncertainty based optimization technique is used to identify the likelihood of occurrence for these strong or weak interactions to take place.

Copyright Owner

Christopher Wenger



File Format


File Size

59 pages