Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Aerospace, Physics, and Space Sciences

First Advisor

Markus Wilde

Second Advisor

Brian Kish

Third Advisor

Andrew Aldrin

Fourth Advisor

Daniel Batcheldor


The purpose of this thesis is to study the reaction to the Lorentz force induced during the hypersonic regime of flight by an active magnetic field. The effect that a magnetic array has on the flight characteristics of a blunt body during Earth atmospheric entry is characterized and isolated for independent analysis. This is done to show that mission-specific benefits to utilizing this method of entry control exist and therefore warrant further study. To conduct this analysis, a 1000 kg blunt body test case was used. This craft contains three separate magnets located behind the nose with two of them offset by 45° to provide the possibility of varying the magnetic flux density in each magnet. The craft’s initial altitude, velocity, and flight path angle were 120 km, 6.5 km/s, and -0.5° respectively. MATLAB was used to study the atmospheric entry and a Simulink model was developed to simulate the lift and drag forces produced by the reaction to the Lorentz force. The angle of attack was varied from 0 - 25° and the initial magnetic flux density was varied from 0.1 – 1 T. The resulting flight characteristics were compared to those with no applied magnetic field to quantify the effects of utilizing this type of entry control. Based on the results of this study, a magnetic flux density of 1 T does impact the flight characteristics of a blunt body craft by adding a lift force of 2857 N and a drag force of 240.8 N. The Lorentz lift and drag forces produced and their exact impact on flight trajectory warrant future study using CFD analysis.