Michael  Burton

Michael Burton

Scholar Title

MIT AeroAstro — Lockheed Martin Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar

Research Title

Optimization for Fixed Wing UAV




Woody Hoburg


With increased computational capability, optimization techniques have become essential to the design process of emerging aircraft. However, current optimization algorithms are often very costly computationally, difficult to set up and likely to produce undesirable results. Geometric Programming is a type of optimization that is extremely fast, guarantees a globally optimum solution, and provides useful information into the design space. This goal of this project is to create a model using Geometric Programming that will allow the exploration and evaluation of high level trade-offs of fixed-wing UAV designs. Rapid trade-off analysis of this kind has never been done before and will give extremely useful information into the design space of UAVs.


I worked at Boeing doing optimization and sizing of vehicles for military applications. I believe research projects in design optimization, like this UROP, can be a total game changer for the aerospace industry.

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