CFD study of an electro-magnetic launched projectile for access to space

Ryan Gosse, Graham V Candler

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


It has been proposed to study and identify the technical issues for an airborne electromagnetic launcher (AEML) for space access.1,2 A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) computer code coupled to a trajectory solver and in-depth material response solver was developed. The program was used to help characterize the aerothermal issues involved with the flight of the projectile as it exits the Earth's atmosphere. Studies using the hypersonic Newtonian method were conducted to first understand the requirements for launching to orbit and then use those requirements to specify the CFD feasibility study. The first CFD feasibility study showed that the TPS system was over designed in the cone section of the projectile and under designed at the nose tip. A second draft was conducted that gave a more reasonable design. The study indicates that a TPS can be successfully designed for the AEML concept and should consist of less than a third of the projectiles mass fraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference
StatePublished - Sep 15 2008
Event26th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: Aug 18 2008Aug 21 2008


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