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Unit information: Space Systems in 2013/14

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Unit name Space Systems
Unit code AENG22300
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Lucy Berthoud
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


The unit introduces spacecraft engineering and space based technology from a system level perspective. It introduces such fundamental topics as orbital mechanics, spacecraft subsystems (power, thermal, propulsion, communication, mechanisms and structures), with an emphasis on how these systems work together to deliver a specified objective. Payloads, launch systems and infrastructure are also considered, allowing the entire field of space applications to be appreciated.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will:

  • have a basic knowledge of all spacecraft subsystems;
  • be able to perform simple calculations on Keplerian orbits, orbit transfers, propulsion systems, and some subsystem topics;
  • be aware of the major technological applications, and how they are implemented in real missions;
  • be able to place the knowledge of space systems engineering into the wider context.

Teaching details

24, 50 minute lectures and 6 hours computing laboratory work, based around the Satellite Tool Kit package.

Assessment Details

Short answer assessed computing laboratory exercise, conducted in the 6 hours lab time (10%), 2 hr examination (1 compulsory short answer question, and 2 long from 4) in January(90%).

Reading and References

  • Spacecraft Systems Engineering by Peter Fortescue and John Stark, 3rd edition Wiley
  • Spacecraft Mission Analysis and Design by Wertz and Larson 3rd edition, Springer