Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Som Soni, PhD

Second Advisor

Joseph W. Carl, PhD


Current Air Force operations are undergoing significant changes necessitated by increasing fiscal constraints, increasing aircraft age, and recent drawdown in personnel to perform maintenance, repair, and other necessary functions. In order to deal with these challenges, the Air Force must effectively improve current operations. This paper explores potential structural health monitoring (SHM) solutions to some of the challenges facing aircraft maintenance and repair operations. As with any problem, a variety of solutions exist and this paper explores the potential solutions and limitations of various options. Aircraft SHM is an intriguing concept with potential capability to revolutionize current Air Force maintenance operations. However, this capability needs to be balanced with the total life cycle cost associated with training personnel, and with developing, integrating, maintaining, and disposing of the SHM system. This thesis develops and implements a value-focused thinking model as a decision-making tool to analyze several potential solutions to SHM problems.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



co-authored thesis