Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


Kim Shollenberger


A Laser Inertial Fusion Energy (LIFE) target’s flight through a low Reynolds number and high Mach number regime was analyzed with computational fluid dynamics software. This regime consisted of xenon gas at 1,050 K and approximately 6,670 Pa. Simulations with similar flow conditions were performed over a sphere and compared with experimental data and published correlations for validation purposes. Transient considerations of the developing flow around the target were explored. Simulations of the target at different velocities were used to determine correlations for the drag coefficient and Nusselt number as functions of the Reynolds number. Simulations with different target angles of attack were used to determine the aerodynamic coefficients of drag, lift, Magnus moment, and overturning moment as well as target stability. The drag force, lift force, and overturning moment changed minimally with spin. Above an angle of attack of 15°, the overturning moment would be destabilizing. At angles of attack less than 15°, the overturning moment would tend to decrease the target’s angle of attack, indicating the lack of a need for spin for stability at these small angles. This stabilizing moment would cause the target to move in a mildly damped oscillation about the axis parallel to the free-stream velocity vector through the target’s center of gravity.