Checking date: 12/03/2024

Course: 2024/2025

Space Vehicles and Orbital Dynamics
Bachelor in Aerospace Engineering (Plan: 421 - Estudio: 251)

Coordinating teacher: MERINO MARTINEZ, MARIO

Department assigned to the subject: Aerospace Engineering Department

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
Calculus I, Linear Algebra, Physics I, Programming, Calculus II, Mechanics Applied to Aerospace Engineering, Advanced Mathematics, Modeling in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanics of Flight I.
Formulate and solve orbital mechanics problems, use that knowledge to perform preliminary designs of space missions, and evaluate the capabilities of different spacecraft and space systems.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
1. Two body problem Conservation laws Conics and orbital elements 2. Kepler's equation Formulation for the elliptic, parabolic, hyperbolic cases Numerical solution 3. Orbital maneuvers Fundamentals of spherical trigonometry Hohmann, bielliptic transfers; plane change; phasing maneuvers, electric orbit raising 4. Preliminary orbit determination Gibbs problem, Gauss problem Lambert's problem Porkchop diagrams 5. Perturbations Special perturbation methods General perturbation methods Drag, solar radiation, third body Geopotential and spherical harmonics 6. Interplanetary trajectories Patched-conics method Launch and B-Plane targeting 7. Relative motion and rendezvous Clohessy-Wiltshire equations 8. Circular restricted three body problem Derivation and normalization. Jacobi's energy integral Lagrange libration points Stability and trajectories near Lagrange points 9. Space vehicles: attitude dynamics Free body attitude kinematics and dynamics Gravity gradient Reaction control system and reaction wheels 10. Introduction to space missions and space systems Application orbits, types of missions Spacecraft subsystems
Learning activities and methodology
Theory sessions in master classes (flipped-classroom methodology) Problem sessions in reduced groups Computer sessions with mathematical software Personal and group work
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 60
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 40

Calendar of Continuous assessment

Extraordinary call: regulations
Basic Bibliography
  • Hanspeter Schaub and John L. Junkins. Analytical mechanics of space systems. AIAA. 2003
  • Howard D. Curtis. Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students. Elsevier. 2010
Additional Bibliography
  • Peter Fortescue, Graham Swinerd, John Stark. Spacecraft systems engineering. John Wiley and Sons. 2011

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.