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Unit information: Advanced Space Systems in 2016/17

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Unit name Advanced Space Systems
Unit code AENGM2400
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Lucy Berthoud
Open unit status Not open

AENG22300 Space Systems



School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This module aims to develop an understanding of the technology and other issues related to advanced space systems, with an in depth review of one topic. The technical issues and the underlying design requirements will be covered for the three major systems areas: orbits, advanced aspects of spacecraft design and manned space flight.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit the student will:

  • have a basic knowledge of non-Keplerian orbits, manned spaceflight, advanced aspects of spacecraft design, space environment and some aspects of space policy
  • have demonstrated a Masters Level (i.e. forefront) understanding of one specific topic.
  • have a basic knowledge of how to plan a planetary mission using orbit modelling tool STK.

Teaching details

  • 22 Lectures.
  • 6 hrs computing laboratories (STK orbit analysis software)
  • Masters level essay on an agreed topic.

2 orbit modelling exercises (non-assessed) - Lucy Berthoud

Orbit Revision and Non Keplerian Orbits 1 - Roger Moses

Non Keplerian Orbits 2 - Roger Moses

Gravity Assist - Roger Moses

Solar System Trajectories 1 - Roger Moses

Solar System Trajectories 2 - Roger Moses

Advanced Propulsion - Roger Moses

Interstellar Flight - Roger Moses

Aerodynamics and reentry - Neil Taylor

Reusable Launchers - Mark Hempsell

Space Infrastructure - Mark Hempsell

Solar Power Satellites - Ivor Franklin

Human Factors in Space - Lucy Berthoud

Formation flying - Arthur Richards

Rendezvous - Arthur Richards

Global Navigation Systems - Lucy Berthoud

Mission Control/Ground Segment - Lucy Berthoud

Space System Software - Simon Chalkley (SEA Ltd, Bristol)

Synthetic Aperture Radar - Chris Chaloner (SEA Ltd.)

Deployable Structures - Fabrizio Scarpa

Energy methods - Steve Burrow

Case Study 1: Smart One - Roger Moses

Case Study 2: Mars Express - Lucy Berthoud

Assessment Details

40% coursework 60% Exam

Reading and References

  • Wertz, J.R. Space Mission Analysis and Design Kluwer, 9780792359012. 1999
  • Sutton, G.P. Rocket Propulsion Elements Wiley, 9780470080245. 2010
  • Wertz, J.R. Mission Geometry, Kluwer, 9780792371489. 2002
  • Curtis, H.D. Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students, Elsevier, 9780123747785. 2009