Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Anthony N. Palazotto, PhD.


This thesis describes the development of a series of models utilizing the commercial finite element suite ABAQUS specifically to apply towards the study of biological tissue. The end goal is to be able to obtain the material properties of the Manducca Sexta, a biological inspiration for flapping wing micro-air vehicles. Two finite element models were used to analyze the results of two prior studies of other researchers. A flat punch elastic model examined boundary effects and confirmed that the point of indentation was far enough removed from the boundary. The hyperelastic spherical indentation experiment examined the effects of coefficient of friction on the indentation. Another algorithm was reproduced to analyze the elastic, power law-hardening properties of a wide range of material properties. A nanoindentation system was used to investigate the modulus of the M. Sexta. Due to instrument limitations, useful data was not able to be collected. An upper bound on the modulus was established on the order of 1 MPa. A uniaxial tension test of the M.Sexta was used to obtain a reported initial modulus of elasticity values of 343 kPa.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number