Course: 2024/2025

Space Vehicles and Orbital Dynamics

(14169)

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.