Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Using computational fluid dynamics, steady state simulations of a capsule like Mars entry vehicle at certain trajectory points was performed. Trajectory points were chosen incrementally from 90 to 11.5 kilometers altitude. The Direct Simulation Monte Carlo method and the Overflow 2 Navier-Stokes solver were used depending on Knudsen number values greater than or less than 0.1, respectively. To compare flow effects of the maximum angle of attack error margin of three degrees, axially symmetric cases were computed and compared to three dimensional cases demonstrating an attack angle (α) of three degrees. Lift and drag coefficients are reported and compared. The greatest lift and drag coefficients were recorded with the 11.5 kilometer altitude case: 0.0 and 0.635 for α = 0° , and 0.029 and 0.566 for α = 3°, which introduces a lifting force and demonstrates a 12.3% change in drag.


Faculty Mentor

Thomas Hauser

Departmental Honors Advisor

Wynn Walker