Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


David Marshall


Airfoil design is one of the most important aspects of aircraft design. Slight changes in airfoil geometry can lead to significant changes in a wide variety of aircraft performance metrics. Inverse design methods offer an efficient alternative to standard direct methods. The key to this design problem is to derive a direct relationship between changes in airfoil geometry and changes in pressure or velocity distributions. This relationship is then used to modify an initial airfoil and its pressure distribution to match a target pressure distribution, which is specified by design parameters. At this point, the engineer now has a final airfoil based off of the design requirements.

This paper attempts to provide a quick and easy inverse design method for a wide variety of supersonic scenarios. This is accomplished by using the class-shape transformation technique to parameterize airfoils during an iterative process. The robustness of the method is demonstrated through several distinct design cases including supersonic airfoils, unique geometries, and a Sears-Haack body.