Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Ralph A. Anthenien, PhD


Some of today's aircraft use decoys as a defense against enemy weapons. The decoy is towed behind the aircraft with the intention of attracting the weapon propagator by deception, trying to mislead the weapon into detecting it instead of the aircraft. An aircraft deploys a decoy via a towline extending out behind and below the aircraft. However, during some maneuvers, the towline moves up into the jet exhaust plume of the aircraft. The high temperatures of the exhaust can cause damage to the towline cable, ranging from disrupting data flow between the decoy and aircraft to severing the towline altogether. This research modeled the system to determine the towline shape and position relative to the aircraft under steady state conditions. Non-dimensional parameters were used to investigate what parameter groups affect the motion of the towline, reducing the steady state solution space from 7 parameters to 2 parameters. The effects of both parameter groups in determining the shape of the towline are presented. The author provides recommendations for preventing the towline from entering the jet exhaust during straight and level flight.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number