Checking date: 29/06/2021

Course: 2021/2022

Spacecraft Pre-design
Study: Master in Space Engineering (360)

Coordinating teacher: MARCOS ESTEBAN, ANDRES

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

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 3.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
It is recommended to have passed (or being taken) all master courses related to spacecraft, system engineering, and project management.
Basic competences CB6 To possess and understand knowledge that provides a basis or opportunity to be original in the development and / or application of ideas, often in a research context CB7 Students must know how to apply the knowledge acquired and their ability to solve problems in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their area of study CB8 Students must be able to integrate knowledge and face the complexity of making judgments based on information that, being incomplete or limited, includes reflections on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgments CB9 Students must know how to communicate their conclusions and the knowledge and ultimate reasons that sustain them to specialized and non-specialized audiences in a clear and unambiguous way CB10 Students must have the learning skills allowing them to continue studying in a way that will be largely self-directed or autonomous. General competences CG2 Ability to make value judgments and prioritize in making conflicting decisions using systemic thinking. CG3 Ability to analyze and correct the environmental and social impact of the technical solutions of any space system CG4 Ability to work in multidisciplinary teams in a cooperative way to complete work tasks CG5 Ability to handle the English, technical and colloquial language. CG6 Ability to know adequately the business context of the professional sector, as well as to know and understand the applicable legislation in the exercise of the profession Specific competences CE1 Ability to conceive space products that respond to the needs of the stakeholders, defining functions, concepts and architecture, as well as developing project management. CE2 Ability to plan and develop the design of space products in their different phases. CE3 Ability to develop a complete system that meets the design specifications and the expectations of the interested parties. This includes the production of products; acquire, reuse or code products; integrate products in top-level assemblies; verify products against design specifications; validate the products against the expectations of the interested parties; and the transition of products to the next level of the system. CE4 Ability to manage technical activities during the life cycle of the project.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
Synthesis course where student teams prepare a full pre-design of a space system to comply with a set of mission requirements set by the course staff. The knowledge and capabilities of other courses will be consolidated and put into practice here. Students will work in a team, each of them covering a specific role. 1. Mission requirements. Requirement and constraint flowdown 2. The space system predesign team and its roles 3. Preliminary design of space systems. Budgets and trade-offs 4. Preliminary design of space segment subsystems 5. Verification and validation 6. Technical report and presentation of results
Learning activities and methodology
The course is composed of master classes (theory/problems/examples) and group work guided sessions. The main activity in the course is the development of a space system predesign in a team. This will be carried out in the group work sessions and outside classes in the individual work time of the students. Group office hours can be requested by the students. Student work will present their work orally (in continuous evaluation) and in written form (team and specialist reports to be submitted by final exam date). Students will defend their project and answer the comments of the professors during the oral presentations of the course.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 60
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 40
Calendar of Continuous assessment
Basic Bibliography
  • James R. Wertz (Editor), David F. Everett (Editor), Jeffery J. Puschell (Editor). Space Mission Engineering: The New SMAD. Microcosm Press. 2011
  • PMI. A guide to the project management body of knowledge : (PMBOK guide). PMI. 2017
  • Peter Fortescue, Graham Swinerd, John Stark. Spacecraft systems engineering. John Wiley and Sons. 2011
Additional Bibliography
  • C.D. Brown. Elements of Spacecraft Design. AIAA Education Series. 2002
  • M.D. Griffin, J.R. French. Space Vehicle Design. AIAA Education Series. 2004
  • V.L. Pisacane. Fundamentals of Space Systems Second Edition. Oxford University Press. 2005

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