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Title: Flight and Stability of a Laser Inertial Fusion Energy Target in the Drift Region between Injection and the Reaction Chamber with Computational Fluid Dynamics

A Laser Inertial Fusion Energy (LIFE) target’s flight through a low Reynolds number and high Mach number regime was analyzed with computational fluid dynamics software. This regime consisted of xenon gas at 1,050 K and approximately 6,670 Pa. Simulations with similar flow conditions were performed with a sphere and compared with experimental data and published correlations for validation purposes. Transient considerations of the developing flow around the target were explored. Simulations of the target at different velocities were used to determine correlations for the drag coefficient and Nusselt number as functions of the Reynolds number. Simulations with different angles of attack were used to determine the aerodynamic coefficients of drag, lift, Magnus moment, and overturning moment as well as target stability. The drag force, lift force, and overturning moment changed minimally with spin. Above an angle of attack of 15°, the overturning moment would be destabilizing. At low angles of attack (less than 15°), the overturning moment would tend to decrease the target’s angle of attack, indicating the lack of a need for spin for stability at small angles. This stabilizing moment would cause the target to move in a mildly damped oscillation about the axis parallel to the free-streammore » velocity vector through the target’s center of gravity.« less
  1. California Polytechnic State Univ. (CalPoly), San Luis Obispo, CA (United States)
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Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
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United States
42 ENGINEERING CFD; low Reynolds number; high Mach number; drag coefficient correlation; Nusselt correlation; angle of attack; aerodynamic coefficients; flight stability