Space Systems & Space Subsystems

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Space Systems & Space Subsystems

4-Day Course

$2195 per person


This 4-day course in space systems and space subsystems engineering is for technical and management personnel who wish to gain an understanding of the important technical concepts in the development of space instrumentation, subsystems, and systems. The goal is to assist students to achieve their professional potential by endowing them with an understanding of the basics of subsystems and the supporting disciplines important to developing space instrumentation, space subsystems, and space systems. It designed for participants who expect to plan, design, build, integrate, test, launch, operate or manage subsystems, space systems, launch vehicles, spacecraft, payloads, or ground systems. The objective is to expose each participant to the fundamentals of each subsystem and their inter-relations, to not necessarily make each student a systems engineer, but to give aerospace engineers and managers a technically based space systems perspective. The fundamental concepts are introduced and illustrated by state-of-the-art examples. This course differs from the typical space systems course in that the technical aspects of each important subsystem are addressed. The textbook "Fundamentals of Space Systems" published by Oxford University Press will be provided to all attendees.

  1. Systems Overview. Recent spacecraft missions are discussed to provide an overall perspective of some challenging missions. Cassini-Huygens. Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous. Space Navigation Systems.

  2. Space Systems Engineering. Introductory Concepts. Systems Engineering. System Development. Engineering Reviews. System testing. Management of Space Systems (Schedule, Budgeting, Earned Value, Cost Estimating, Cost readiness Levels.)

  3. Astrodynamics. Two-Body Central Force Motion. Reference Systems. Classical Orbital Elements. Gravitational Potential. Tides. Gravity Gradient. Trajectory Perturbations.Orbit Determination. Satellite Coverage. Lagrange Libration Points. Gravitational Assist. Synodic Periods. Patched Conics.

  4. Spacecraft Propulsion, Flight Mechanics, and Launch Systems. Rocket Propulsion. Force-Free Rocket Motion. Launch Flight Mechanics. Propulsion System Introduction. Cold Gas Systems. Solid Propulsion Systems. Liquid Propulsion Systems. Hybrid Propulsion Systems.Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Systems. Electrical Propulsion Systems. Solar Sailing. Launch Vehicles. Transfer Trajectories.

  5. Spacecraft Attitude Determination. Attitude Kinematics. (Euler Angles, Quaternions, Gimbal Lock, Attitude Determination). Attitude Sensors (Sun Sensors, Magnetometers, Horizon Sensors, Star Sensors GPS Attitude, Typical Configurations). Rate Sensors (Mechanical Gyroscopes, Optical Gyroscopes, Resonator Gyroscopes,MEMS Gyroscopes). Inertial Measurement Units.

  6. Spacecraft Attitude Control. Equations of Motion.Environmental Torques. Feedback Control. Control Example.Actuators. Libration and Nutation Dampers. Attitude Control Systems.

  7. Space Power Systems. Nuclear Reactors. Radioisotope Generators. Fuel Cells. Solar Thermal Dynamic. Auxiliary Power Units. Battery Principles. Primary Batteries.Secondary Batteries. Solar-Orbital Geometry. Solar Cell Basics. Solar Arrays. Power System Control. Design Principles. Sample Power System Configurations.

  8. Space Communications. Radio Spectrum. Antennas. Signal to Noise Ratio. Link Analysis. Pulse Code Modulation. Digital Communications. Multiple Access. Coding.

  9. Space Thermal Control. Design Process. Thermal Environment. Heat Transfer Basics. Thermal Analysis. Thermal Control Components (Thermal Control Coatings, Second Surface Mirrors, Multilayer Insulation, Heaters, Radiators, Louvers, Heat Pipes, Phase Change Materials and Heat Sinks, Heat Sinks, Doublers and Thermal Straps, Thermal Isolators, and Radioisotope Heater Units). Thermal Tests. Sample Thermal Control Systems.

  10. Space Structures. Design Process, Mass Estimates. Structural Configurations. Launch Vehicle Environments. Materials. Finite Element Analysis. Test Verification.

Who Should Attend:

Scientists, engineers, and managers involved in the management, planning, design, fabrication, integration, test, or operation of space instruments, space subsystems, and spacecraft. The course will provide an understanding of the space subsystems and disciplines necessary to develop a space instrument and spacecraft and the systems engineering approach to integrate these into a successful mission.

Tuition for this four-day course is $2195 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

Register Now Without Obligation.


Dr. Vincent Pisacane

Dr. Vincent L. Pisacane was the Robert A. Heinlein Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the United States Naval Academy where he taught courses in space exploration and its physiological effects, space communications, astrodynamics, space environment, space communication, space power systems, and the design of spacecraft and space instruments. He was previously at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory where he was the Head of the Space Department, Director of the Institute for Advanced Science and Technology in Medicine, and Assistant Director for Research and Exploratory Development. He concurrently held a joint academic appointment in biomedical engineering at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He has been the principal investigator on several NASA funded grants on space radiation, orbital debris, and the human thermoregulatory system. He is a fellow of the AIAA. He currently teaches graduate courses in space systems engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. In addition he has taught short courses on these topics. He has authored over a hundred papers on space systems and bioastronautics.

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