Checking date: 04/06/2018

Course: 2018/2019

Space Vehicles and Orbital Dynamics
Study: Bachelor in Aerospace Engineering (251)

Coordinating teacher: MERINO MARTINEZ, MARIO

Department assigned to the subject: Department of Bioengineering and Aerospace Engineering

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Competences and skills that will be acquired and learning results. Further information on this link
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. Competences: CG9, CG10, CB2, CB5, CECRA13.
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 B-Plane targeting 7. Relative motion and rendezvous Clohessy-Wiltshire equations 8. 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 Quaternions. Free body attitude dynamics Gravity gradient 10. Introduction to space missions and space systems Application orbits, types of missions Spacecraft subsystems
Learning activities and methodology
Theory sessions in master classes 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
Basic Bibliography
  • Hanspeter Schaub and John L. Junkins. Analytical mechanics of space systems. AIAA. 2003
Additional Bibliography
  • Howard D. CurtisHoward D. Curtis. Orbital mechanics for engineering students. Butterworth-HeinemannButterworth-Heinemann. 2013
  • Peter Fortescue, Graham Swinerd, John Stark. Spacecraft systems engineering. John Wiley and Sons. 2011

The course syllabus and the academic weekly planning may change due academic events or other reasons.