Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Corinne S. Lengsfeld, Ph.D.


Computational, Fluid dynamics, Mixing, Optimization, Supersonic ejector, Supersonic nozzle


The Airborne Laser (ABL) was designed to destroy any ballistic missile shortly after launch that could be a threat to the United States and its allies. The ABL uses several lasers to accomplish the destruction of the ballistic missile, most notably the high powered Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL). The COIL is a complex device that could be improved upon in several areas that will result in overall weight reduction, refinement of beam quality, and increased magazine capacity.

This dissertation presents novel design and optimization techniques coupled with fluid dynamics to improve the performance of the COIL system. The focus was on two components of the COIL system: the iodine mixing nozzle and the pressure recovery system. Improvements to the iodine mixing nozzle were made in terms of mixing efficiency, gain uniformity, and flow uniformity. These improvements result in a power increase per module, which in turn reduces the overall number of modules required to shoot down a missile. The use of fewer modules significantly reduces the weight of the entire system.

Additionally, investigations into the pressure recovery system led to further reduction in weight. New designs increased the mixing of the flows, which improved the pressure recovery and entrainment ratios. Focusing on the ABL application, the required pressure recovery needed for operation could be achieved with lower flow rates, and thus, less fluid is needed onboard.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Matthew James Opgenorth

File size

111 p.

File format





Mechanical engineering