Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Koenig, Keith

Committee Member

Bridges, David

Committee Member

Olsen, Greg

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Aerospace Engineering


Small UAV?s and flight vehicles in other atmospheres such as Mars are characterized by low Reynolds numbers. Low Reynolds number airfoil testing has been difficult to achieve and there are few centers that can accomplish this task. This study is an effort to develop a flight test system that will enable low Reynolds number tests to be performed with a simple glider design. The concept is to develop a high altitude glider that will be transported to altitudes reaching 100,000 feet or more by a helium filled balloon. At altitude, the glider will be released and will perform flight experiments as it descends. This region of Earth?s atmosphere, ?near space? has the conditions desired for low Reynolds number testing as well as similar properties to the surface of Mars. With the knowledge gained from this experiment, a better understanding of accomplishing flight on Mars may be attained.