This paper presents an approach, based on numerical optimization techniques, to identify an ideal (5 star) crash pulse and generate a band of acceptable crash pulses surrounding that ideal pulse. This band can be used by engineers to quickly determine whether a design will satisfy government and corporate safety requirements, and whether the design will satisfy the requirements for a 5 star crash rating. A piecewise linear representation of the crash pulse with two plateaus is employed for its conceptual simplicity and because such a pulse has been shown to be sufficient for reproducing occupant injury behavior when used as input into MADYMO models. The piecewise linear crash pulse is parameterized with 7 design variables (5 for time domain and 2 for acceleration domain) in the optimization process. A series of sample runs are conducted to validate that pulses falling within the acceptable crash pulse band do in fact satisfy 5 star requirements.