Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Barton Smith


Barton Smith


Mark Kimber


Tadd Truscott


Nick Roberts


Titus Yuan


The next generation of nuclear power plants will have higher efficiency and improved safety, among other benefits; one attractive option is the high temperature gas reactor. An ability to predict the physics that occur within the reactor under normal conditions and accident scenarios is necessary before it receives regulatory licensing for use. The flow through a high temperature gas reactor involves complex interactions of heat transfer, fluids, and solids.

One method for simulating complex fluid dynamics is called Computational Fluid Dynamics. These simulations have already been used to predict the complex fluid flows found in high temperature gas reactors. Predicting the reactor fluid flows, especially during accident scenarios, is paramount for decision making, safety, and regulatory licensing. Using simulations for these purposes requires confidence in the simulation results. One scientific process to establish confidence in Computational Fluid Dynamics results is called validation.

This dissertation describes a validation experiment that was completed to improve confidence in simulations of thermal-fluid flows of mixing jets, similar to those found in high temperature gas reactors. Validation experiments are vital in the process of simulation validation. A new wind tunnel test section with parallel heated channels was built specifically for this validation experiment. The product of this dissertation is a well described system along with archived measurement inputs and outputs for the simulation validation process. A validation experiment for these physics is not currently available.