Tag Archives: Space systems

You decide – The Best Technical Training for You!



You can make a difference. Applied Technology Institute is scheduling new courses for September 2016 through July 2017. Please let us know which courses you would like to see on our schedule or brought to your facility.

·         If you have a group of 3 or more people, ATI can schedule an open enrollment course in your geographic area.

·         If you have a group of 8 or more, ATI can schedule a course on-site at your facility.

On-site training brings our experts to you — on your schedule, at your location. It also allows us to plan your training in advance and tailor classes directly to your needs.

You can help identify courses to suit your training needs and bring the best short courses to you! ATI courses can help you stay up-to-date with today’s rapidly changing technology.

Boost your career. Courses are led by world-class design experts. Learn from the proven best.

ATI courses by technical area:

Satellites & Space-Related courses

Acoustic & Sonar Engineering courses

Engineering & Data Analysis courses

Radar, Missiles and Combat Systems courses

Project Management and Systems Engineering courses


Contact us: ATI@ATIcourses.com or (410) 956-8805

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ATI Courses Instructor Of The Month, Vincent L. Pisacane, PhD

Dr. Vincent Pisacane was the Robert A. Heinlein Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the United States Naval Academy where he taught courses in space exploration, space systems, and the design of spacecraft. 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. He is a fellow of the AIAA. He currently teaches graduate courses in space systems at the Johns Hopkins University. In addition he has taught short courses and webinars on these topics. He has authored over a hundred research papers on space systems and

bioastronautics and several books.


B.A.                                    Mechanical Engineering                                                Drexel University

M.S.                   Applied Mechanics/Mathematics             Michigan State University

Ph.D.                Applied Mechanics/Physics                         Michigan State University

Post-Grad       Aeronautical Engineering                             Princeton University

Post Doc.         Electrical Engineering                                     Johns Hopkins University



Pisacane, VL, Spacecraft Systems Design and Engineering, In R. A. Myers (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology, Third Edition. vol, 15, Academic Press, 2002.


Pisacane, VL, and RC Moore, Eds. Fundamentals of Space Systems, Oxford University Press, (Author of three chapters and co-author of one chapter out of 14 separately authored chapters), 1994.


Pisacane, VL, (Editor) Fundamentals of Space Systems, Oxford University Press, Second Edition (Author of four chapters out of 16 separately authored), June 2005.


Pisacane, VL, Space Environment and its Effects on Space Systems, AIAA Press, August 2008. (Translated to Chinese, 2011)


Pisacane, VL, Systems Engineering and Requirements Analysis, in M Macdonald and V Badescu (Eds), The International Handbook of Space Technology, Praxis and Springer-Verlag, 2013.



Fundamentals Of Space Systems & Space Subsystems
Bioastronautics: Space Exploration and its Effects on the Human Body
Space Environment & It’s Effects On Space Systems
Space Radiation & It’s Effects On Space Systems & Astronauts
Space Systems – Intermediate Design




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Today virtually every large liquid rocket that flies into space takes advantage of the performance-enhancement techniques we pioneered in conjunction with the Apollo moon flights. NASA’s reusable space shuttle, for example, employs modern versions of optimal fuel biasing and postflight trajectory reconstruction. However, more of the critical steps are accomplished automatically by the computer.

Russia’s huge tripropellant rocket, which was designed to burn kerosene-oxygen early in its flight, the switch to hydrogen-oxygen for the last part, yields important performance gains for precisely the same reason the Programmed Mixture Ratio scheme did. In short, the fundamental ideas we pioneered are still providing a rich legacy for today’s mathematicians and rocket scientists most of whom have no idea how it all crystallized more that 40 years ago.

Illustration 1. below summarizes the performance gains and a sampling of the mathematical procedures we used in figuring out how to send 4700 extra pounds of payload to the moon on each of the manned Apollo missions. We achieved these performance gains by using a number of advanced mathematical techniques, nine of which are listed on the chart. No costly hardware changes were necessary. We did it all with pure mathematics!

In those days each pound of payload was estimated to be worth five times its weight in 24-karat gold. As the calculations in the box in the lower right-hand corner of Illustration 1. indicate, the total saving per mission amounted to $280 million, measured in 2009 dollars. And, since we flew nine manned missions from the earth to the moon, the total savings amounted to $2.5 billion in today’s purchasing power!

We achieved these savings by using advanced calculus, partial differential equations, numerical analysis, Newtonian mechanics, probability and statistics, the calculus of variations, non linear least squares hunting procedures, and matrix algebra. These were the same branches of mathematics that had confused us, separately and together, only a few years earlier at Eastern Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky, UCLA, and USC.


Illustration 1. Over a period of two years or so a small team of rocket scientists and mathematics used at least nine branches of advanced mathematics to increase the performance capabilities of the Saturn V moon rocket by more than 4700 pounds of translunar payload. As the calculations in the lower right-hand corner of this figure indicate, the net overall savings associated with the nine manned missions we flew to the moon totaled $2,500,000,000 in today’s purchasing power. These impressive performance gains were achieved with pure mathematical manipulations. No hardware modifications at all were required.

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