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Cost-effective Design for Today's Missions

ATI's Satellite Design & Technology course

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    Technical Training Short On Site Course Quote

      Renewed emphasis on cost effective missions requires up-to-date knowledge of satellite technology and an in-depth understanding of the systems engineering issues. Together, these give satellite engineers and managers options in selecting lower cost approaches to building reliable spacecraft. This 3-1/2 day course covers all the important technologies needed to develop lower cost space systems. In addition to covering the traditional flight hardware disciplines, attention is given to integration and testing, software, and R&QA.

      The emphasis is on the enabling technology developments, including new space launch options that permit doing more with less in space today. Case studies and examples drawn from modern satellite missions pinpoint the key issues and tradeoffs in modern design and illustrate lessons learned from past successes and failures. Technical specialists will also find the broad perspective and system engineering viewpoint useful in communicating with other specialists to analyze design options and tradeoffs. The course notes provide an authoritative reference that focuses on proven techniques and guidelines for understanding, designing, and managing modern satellite systems.


      Eric Hoffman recently retired after 19 years as Chief Engineer of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory Space Department, which has designed and built 61 spacecraft. He joined APL in 1964, designing high reliability spacecraft command, communications, and navigation systems and holds several patents in this field. He has led many of APL's system and spacecraft conceptual designs. Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, Associate Fellow of the AIAA, and coauthor of Fundamentals of Space Systems.

      Contact this instructor (please mention course name in the subject line)

      Dr. Jerry Krassner has been involved in aerospace R&D for over 30 years. Over this time, he has participated in or led a variety of activities with primary technical focus on sensor systems R&D, and business focus on new concept development and marketing. He has authored over 60 research papers, served on advisory panels for DARPA and the Navy, and was a member of the US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (for which he was awarded the USAF Civilian Exemplary Service Award). Jerry was a founding member, and past Chairman, of the MASINT Association. Currently, he is a consultant to a National Security organization, and acting chief scientist for an office in OSD, responsible for identification and assessment of new enabling technologies. Jerry has a PhD in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Rochester.

    Course Outline:

    1. Space Systems Engineering. Elements of space systems engineering. Setting the objective. Establishing requirements. System "drivers." Mission analysis and design. Budgeted items. Margins. Project phases. Design reviews.

    2. Designing for the Space Environment. Vacuum and drag. Microgravity. Temperature and thermal gradients. Magnetic field. Ultraviolet. Solar pressure. Ionizing radiation. Spacecraft charging. Space debris. Pre-launch and launch environments.

    3. Orbits and Astrodynamics. Review of spacecraft orbital mechanics. Coordinate systems. Orbital elements. Selecting an orbit. Orbital transfer. Specialized orbits. Orbit perturbations. Interplanetary missions.

    4. On-Orbit Propulsion and Launch Systems. Mathematical formulation of rocket equations. Spacecraft onboard propulsion systems. Station keeping and attitude control. Satellite launch options.

    5. Attitude Determination and Control. Spacecraft attitude dynamics. Attitude torque modeling. Attitude sensors and actuators. Passive and active attitude control. Attitude estimators and controllers. New applications, methods, HW.

    6. Spacecraft Power Systems. Power source options. Energy storage, control, and distribution. Power converters. Designing the small satellite power system.

    7. Spacecraft Thermal Control. Heat transfer fundamentals for spacecraft. Modern thermal materials. Active vs. passive thermal control. The thermal design procedure.

    8. Spacecraft Configuration and Structure. Structural design requirements and interfaces. Requirements for launch, staging, spin stabilization. Design, analysis, and test. Modern structural materials and design concepts. Margins of safety. Structural dynamics and testing.

    9. Spacecraft RF Communications. RF signal transmission. Antennas. One-way range equation. Properties and peculiarities of the space channel. Modulating the RF. Dealing with noise. Link margin. Error correction. RF link design.

    10. Spacecraft Command and Telemetry. Command receivers, decoders, and processors. Command messages. Synchronization, error detection and correction. Encryption and authentication. Telemetry systems. Sensors, signal conditioning, and A/D conversion. Frame formatting. Packetization. Data compression.

    11. Spacecraft On-board Computing. Central processing units for space. Memory types. Mass storage. Processor input/output. Spacecraft buses. Fault tolerance and redundancy. Radiation hardness, upset, and latchup. Hardware/software tradeoffs. Software development and engineering.

    12. Reliability and Quality Assurance. Hi-rel principles: lessons learned. Designing for reliability. Using redundancy effectively. Margins and derating. Parts quality and process control. Configuration management. Quality assurance, inspection, and test. ISO 9000.

    13. Integration and Test. Planning for I&T. Ground support systems. I&T facilities. Verification matrix. Test plans and other important documents. Testing subsystems. Spacecraft level testing. Launch site operations. Which tests are worthwhile, which arenít.


      Tuition for this three-and-a-half-day course is $1940 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