Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Montgomery C. Hughson, PhD


The flow field about the nose section of a hypervelocity test sled is computed using computational fluid dynamics. The numerical model of the test sled corresponds to the Nike O/U narrow gage sled used in the upgrade program at the High Speed Test Track facility, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The high temperatures and pressures resulting from the aerodynamic heating and loading affect the sled structure and the performance of the vehicle. The sled transitions from an air environment to a helium environment at a speed of approximately 3,300 feet per second (Mach 3 in air, Mach 1.02 in helium) to reduce the effects of high Mach number flows. Steady, three-dimensional, inviscid flow solutions are computed for Mach numbers of 2 and 3 in air (2,200 and 3,300 feet per second), and for Mach numbers of 1.02, 2.5 and 3.1 in helium (3,300, 8,076 and 10,000 feet per second). Mesh adaptation is used to obtain a mesh-independent solution. Second-order solutions are obtained for the Mach 3 in air and Mach 1.02 in helium cases. The unsteady transition from air to helium at 3,300 feet per second is also modeled. Mach 3 in air computations are compared with analytical results.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number