Checking date: 28/04/2023

Course: 2023/2024

Space systems design
Master in Aeronautical Engineering / Máster Universitario en Ingeniería Aeronáutica (Plan: 328 - Estudio: 296)

Coordinating teacher: NAVARRO CAVALLE, JAUME

Department assigned to the subject: Aerospace Engineering Department

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
- BSc Aerospace Engineering courses related to: Classical mechanics, orbital dynamics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, heat transfer, electric power, structural calculus, rocket motors, control theory, computer programming
The student shall acquire a good knowledge of the design and sizing of the different subsystems needed to build up a spacecraft for Space missions. The student shall understand the links between all the subsystems involved and how the characteristics of the Space environment impact on their design. Also, having a clear understanding of how the mission requirements specs drive the design process. Furthermore, the student shall understand the processes/tasks to be completed within the different mission phases, as well as the different mission segments that supports any Space mission. This includes the understanding of the certification and validation protocols specifically defined for Space missions.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
- Introduction to Space Systems and Missions, the different segments (space, ground and launch) and subsystems. - The space environment. - Space Systems Engineering. - Mission analysis: orbital maneuvers, groundtracks, mission examples in LEO, MEO, GEO and interplanetary missions - The space segment subsystems: o Space propulsion o Attitude and Orbit Control (AOCS) o Translational GNC o Communications and data handling (onboard computer) o Telemetry, tracking and telecommand o Electric power o Structures and mechanisms. S/C configuration o Thermal control - Launchers and access to space - Manufacturing, assembly; certification, testing and QA - Ground segment and operations - End of life considerations; space debris, space law
Learning activities and methodology
The course has 29 classroom sessions (100 minutes) divided as follows: - AF1 (MD1/MD2). Theory sessions on the different course topics (21 sessions) - AF2/AF3/AF4/AF5 (MD3/MD4/MD5). Lab/Computer room sessions with practical exercises/design examples on the different subsystems (6 sessions). During one of these sessions, a homework is also presented - Continuous evaluation sessions with quiz (2 sessions) The course has an estimated student workload of 150 h (6 ECTS), including personal work. AF6. Communication with the students will be done through aulaglobal: Students can ask for tutorial sessions with the faculty on the hours advertised there.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 60
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 40
Calendar of Continuous assessment
Basic Bibliography
  • J.R. Wertz. Space Mission Engineering: The New SMAD. Space Technology Library. 2011
  • P. Fortescue. Spacecraft systems engineering. Wiley. 2011
Recursos electrónicosElectronic Resources *
  • European Space Agency and other Intitutions · European Cooperation for Space Standardization :
Additional Bibliography
  • D.A. Vallado. Fundamentals of Astrodynamics and Applications. Microcosm Press. 2013
  • G.P. Sutton. Rocket Propulsion Elements. Wiley. 2010
  • M.D Griffin. Space Vehicle Design. AIAA Education Series. 2004
  • V.L. Pisacane. The Space Environment and Its Effects on Space Systems. AIAA Education Series. 2008
  • V.L. Pisacane. Fundamentals of Space Systems. Oxford University Press. 2005
(*) Access to some electronic resources may be restricted to members of the university community and require validation through Campus Global. If you try to connect from outside of the University you will need to set up a VPN

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

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