Space Systems Fundamentals
This four-day course provides an overview of the
fundamentals of concepts and technologies of modern
spacecraft systems design. Satellite system and
mission design is an essentially interdisciplinary sport
that combines engineering, science, and external
phenomena. We will concentrate on scientific and
engineering foundations of spacecraft systems and
interactions among various subsystems. Examples
show how to quantitatively estimate various mission
elements (such as velocity increments) and conditions
(equilibrium temperature) and how to size major
spacecraft subsystems (propellant, antennas,
transmitters, solar arrays, batteries). Real examples
are used to permit an understanding of the systems
selection and trade-off issues in the design process.
The fundamentals of subsystem technologies provide
an indispensable basis for system engineering. The
basic nomenclature, vocabulary, and concepts will
make it possible to converse with understanding with
The course is designed for engineers and managers
who are involved in planning, designing, building,
launching, and operating space systems and
spacecraft subsystems and components. The
extensive set of course notes provide a concise
reference for understanding, designing, and operating
modern spacecraft. The course will appeal to
engineers and managers of diverse background and
varying levels of experience.
View course sampler
Dr. Mike Gruntman is Professor of Astronautics at
the University of Southern California. He is a specialist
in astronautics, space physics, space technology, rocketry,
sensors and instrumentation. Gruntman participates in
theoretical and experimental programs in space science
and space technology, including space missions. He
authored and co-authored nearly 300 publications.
Contact this instructor (please mention course name in the subject line)
What You Will Learn:
- Common space mission and spacecraft bus
configurations, requirements, and constraints.
- Common orbits.
- Fundamentals of spacecraft subsystems and their
- How to calculate velocity increments for typical
- How to calculate required amount of propellant.
- How to design communications link..
- How to size solar arrays and batteries.
- How to determine spacecraft temperature.
- Space Missions And Applications. Science, exploration,
commercial, national security. Customers.
- Space Environment And Spacecraft Interaction. Universe, galaxy,
solar system. Coordinate systems. Time. Solar cycle. Plasma.
Geomagnetic field. Atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere.
Atmospheric drag. Atomic oxygen. Radiation belts and shielding.
- Orbital Mechanics And Mission Design. Motion in gravitational
field. Elliptic orbit. Classical orbit elements. Two-line element
format. Hohmann transfer. Delta-V requirements. Launch sites.
Launch to geostationary orbit. Orbit perturbations. Key orbits:
geostationary, sun-synchronous, Molniya.
- Space Mission Geometry. Satellite horizon, ground track, swath.
- Spacecraft And Mission Design Overview. Mission design
basics. Life cycle of the mission. Reviews. Requirements.
Technology readiness levels. Systems engineering.
- Mission Support. Ground stations. Deep Space Network (DSN).
STDN. SGLS. Space Laser Ranging (SLR). TDRSS.
- Attitude Determination And Control. Spacecraft attitude.
Angular momentum. Environmental disturbance torques. Attitude
sensors. Attitude control techniques (configurations). Spin axis
precession. Reaction wheel analysis.
- Spacecraft Propulsion. Propulsion requirements. Fundamentals
of propulsion: thrust, specific impulse, total impulse. Rocket
dynamics: rocket equation. Staging. Nozzles. Liquid propulsion
systems. Solid propulsion systems. Thrust vector control. Electric
- Launch Systems. Launch issues. Atlas and Delta launch families.
Acoustic environment. Launch system example: Delta II.
- Space Communications. Communications basics. Electromagnetic
waves. Decibel language. Antennas. Antenna gain. TWTA and SSA.
Noise. Bit rate. Communication link design. Modulation techniques.
Bit error rate.
- Spacecraft Power Systems. Spacecraft power system elements.
Orbital effects. Photovoltaic systems (solar cells and arrays).
Radioisotope thermal generators (RTG). Batteries. Sizing power
- Thermal Control. Environmental loads. Blackbody concept.
Planck and Stefan-Boltzmann laws. Passive thermal control.
Coatings. Active thermal control. Heat pipes.
Tuition for this four-day course is $1990 per person at one of our scheduled public courses. Onsite pricing is available. Please call us at 410-956-8805 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.