Paul F. Sand

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

Dennis W. Quinn, PhD


Rocket launches at Vandenburg Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Station produce exhaust clouds containing several toxic by-products, including HC1 and A12O3. These clouds rise to atmospheric stabilization heights, and then start dispersing and diffusing through the air. Upon reaching the ground, concentration levels of the toxins may present a human health risk. To predict these risks and concentration levels, range officials use a computer program titled the Rocket Effluent Exhaust Diffusion Model (REEDM). The version currently in use has been shown to underpredict the stabilization height of the exhaust cloud. This thesis examines the theory and algorithms used in REEDM that govern buoyant cloud rise. Further, modifications that improved the physics of the algorithms and changed an entrainment assumption were implemented and tested in REEDM. Stabilization heights predicted by REEDM using these modifications increased and in some cases closely agreed with observed heights. However, in some circumstances, predicted heights exceeded those observed.

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DTIC Accession Number