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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: EEE2027 Module Title: SPACE MISSION DESIGN
Module Provider: Electronic Engineering Short Name: EEE2027
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: GAO Y Dr (Elec Eng)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability
Spring Semester
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)
2-hour closed book examination
Lab report and practical exam on a Spacecraft Simulator
Module Overview
Through a series of lectures, exercises and coursework, the module aims to give an introduction to the basic elements of space mission design. Students will get an introduction on the fundamentals of space mission design, planning, instrumentation and space technology.
Module Aims
To introduce the student to the process of designing a space mission, to give a broad understanding of the main features of the spacecraft bus and payload, and appreciation the design constraints placed upon these by the environments experienced by the spacecraft, before, during and after launch.
Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, students will have a good understanding of the systems engineering approach to space mission design. The students will understand the basic configuration of the spacecraft bus in terms of its subsystems and payload, and will be able to carry out spacecraft design exercises with the aid of industry-standard computer-based tools. Furthermore a practical understanding of how spacecraft systems operate will be attained with the aid of spacecraft simulators based on the Eyasat satellite model.

Module Content

Basic Elements of a Space Mission (2h):


Introduction to space missions, fundamentals of spacecraft types, introduction to orbits (Kepler’s laws, orbital elements), launch vehicle types, mission operations, mission management, space systems engineering and architecture


Space Mission Design Fundamentals (2h):


Introduction to space systems engineering process, introduction to space mission objectives and requirements definition, derivation of space mission design budgets (mass, power, RF), systems constraints.


Environmental Impacts on Design (2h):


Brief assessment of pre-launch, launch and space environments and effects on space mission design. Understanding the physics and design impact of vibration, loading, forces, accelerations, EMC, vacuum, thermal and radiation disturbances on spacecraft design.


 Overview of Spacecraft Subsystems (4h):


Fundamentals of space system design, design aspects, physics and work principles of satellite command and data handling, power, attitude and orbit control subsystems satellite structures and mechanisms, payload systems. Introduction to spacecraft  dynamics, adaptation of Newton’s laws for space/launch vehicles, introduction to satellite and launch vehicle mechanics (forces, torques, stress, acceleration, vibrations) and electronics design for space of key satellite subsystems (satellite solar panels, battery technologies, on board computers, memory storage in space, data handling).


Spacecraft Design and Sizing (4h):


Spacecraft requirements, system constraints and design process. Spacecraft configuration – size, mass, geometry, power, TTC, OBDH, ADCS. Design budgets. Design of spacecraft bus. Integration and interfaces. Practical examples, satellite model/simulator experiments.


 Payload Design and Sizing (4h):


 Overview of payload design and sizing. A planetary mission case study.

Computer-Aided Design/Modelling (2h):


Computer-aided systems engineering, concurrent engineering, MCAD/ECAD, STK

Methods of Teaching/Learning
Lectures and labs
Assignments: Satellite simulator lab report and practical exam.
Selected Texts/Journals
Recommended background reading
Fortesque, P. & Stark, J. “Spacecraft Systems Engineering” 3rd Ed, Wiley, 2003
Larson, W. & Wertz, J. “Space Mission Analysis & Design” 2nd Ed, Kluwer Publishers
Required reading
Sellers, J. “Understanding Space” McGraw-Hill 2002
Last Updated

12 August 2010