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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: EEEM040 Module Title: SPACECRAFT SYSTEM DESIGN
Module Provider: Electronic Engineering Short Name: EEEM.SSD
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: UNDERWOOD CI Dr (Elec Eng)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Autumn Semester
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
2-hour closed book examination paper; 2 sections – answer two questions from each section.


Part-time Students: As Above  

Qualifying Condition(s)
A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module.
Module Overview
Through a series of lectures and exercises, the course aims to give an introduction to the design and construction of spacecraft, showing how the mission and the space environment itself constrain the engineering. The module forms a key part of the MSc programme in Space Technology and Planetary Exploration (STPE) and, for the undergraduate MEng programme, builds upon the HE3 material in Satellite Bus Subsystems (EE3.SBS).
Completion of the progress requirements of Level HE3 for undergraduates.
None for postgraduate taught students
Module Aims
To introduce the student to the key principles and techniques of spacecraft systems design.
Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the module, students will have a good understanding of the principles and techniques involved in the mechanical and electrical design of space systems, at a level which is sufficiently advanced to fit them for carrying out such activities in a real spacecraft design context.
Module Content
MECHANICAL, THERMAL & OPTICAL DESIGN (15 hours + 3 problem classes)

[1-3] Designing for Space: The physical environment of space and spacecraft system design.

[4-9] Mechanical Design: Frameworks and Structures, stress analysis, loads and stiffness,
elastic instabilities, vibration, materials selection, structural analysis.

[10-12] Thermal Design: Thermal sources and transport mechanisms in space, thermal balance,
thermal control elements, thermal design and implementation.

[13-15] Mechanisms and optics: kinematics, bearings and lubrication, motors and drives.
Optical materials, mountings, alignment, and stray-light control. Basic optics, telescopes.

ELECTRICAL DESIGN (9 hours + 3 problem classes)

[16-18] Power Systems: Power generation, storage, regulation and monitoring.

[19-21] Interfacing, EMC and Reliability: Harnesses, shielding and grounding policy. Component protection, redundancy, and good design practices. Digital interfaces.

[22-24] Sensors and Analogue Electronics: electrical design and interfaces to optical and Attitude Determination Control and Stabilisation (ADCS) sensors.
Methods of Teaching/Learning
Teaching is by lectures and tutorials. Learning takes place through lectures, tutorials, exercises, and independent study. 3 hours lectures/tutorials per week for 10 weeks.
Selected Texts/Journals
Recommended background reading

Cruise, Bowles, Patrick & Goodall, Principles of Space Instrument Design, Cambridge University Press, 1998. (ISBN-13: 9780521025942 | ISBN-10: 052102594X) £32.00 

Required reading 

Fortesque, Stark & Swinerd, Spacecraft Systems Engineering, 3rd ed, Wiley, 2003. (ISBN 04716 19515) £40
Last Updated
10th July 2008