Defence&Aerospace applications greatly benefit from the weight reduction of their payloads. On one hand, a reduced weight leads to lower fuel consumption and thus a greater flight range. On the other, higher load factors reduce the overall flight envelope. In the case of mast mounted naval or terrestrial units (e.g shelters), mass budgets are strongly limit. The need of producing very light structures leads to the use of composite materials but drawbacks arise from the definition of a robust design methodology.

The present work aims at defying an integrated experimental-numerical approach to design complex composite structures. The unit chassis of a hybrid processing unit for airborne application is taken as case study. Material properties are extracted from laboratory tests and integrated with nominal data. A finite element model is calibrated and used to predict the behavior of a chassis wall under harmonic load condition.

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