(1) To provide a basic understanding of the major subsystems of a spacecraft system.
(2) To provide basic frameworks for understanding of spacecraft trajectory and orbits, including interplanetary orbits, launch phase and attitude control.
(3) To provide an awareness of the basic ideas of how space is a business/commercial opportunity and some of the management tools required in business.
Low Earth Orbit Environment
The vacuum, radiation etc environment that a spacecraft encounters in Low Earth Orbit is introduced and its effect on spacecraft materials discussed.
A basic introduction to spacecraft and their environment. Covers Spacecraft structures and materials, thermal control, power systems, attitude control systems, the rocket equation and propulsion.
This discusses: the evolving framework in which world-wide public and private sector space activities are conceived, funded and implemented. The basics of business planning and management.
Orbital mechanics for spacecraft
Students will find out how basic Celestial Mechanics relates to the real world of satellite/spacecraft missions. Following an overview of the effects of the Earth’s environment on a satellite, the basic equations-of-motion are outlined in order to pursue an understanding of the causes and effects of orbit perturbations. A description is given of different types of orbit and methods are outlined for the determination and prediction of satellite and planetary orbits. Launch phase is also considered, and the module concludes with an assessment of Mission Analysis problems such as choice of orbit, use of ground stations, satellite station-keeping and orbit lifetimes.
This module appears in:
Lectures (30 hours), workshop sessions (4 hours) and tests.
The module is expected to occupy 150 total study hours including the contact hours above.
This is not available as a wild module.
Method of assessment
Coursework 30% including tests and homework;
Final (written, unseen, length 2 hours) exam 70%.
Recommended texts: Fortescue, Stark and Swinerd, Spacecraft Systems Engineering, Wiley (2003) 3rd ed, [TL875, 6 copies]
Wertz and Larson, Space Mission Analysis and Design, 2nd ed. Kluwer [TL790]
Knowledge and understanding of physical laws and principles, and their application to diverse areas of physics focussed on spacecraft design and operations.
An ability to solve problems in physics using appropriate mathematical tools.