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ATI's Spacecraft Systems Design
& Engineering course

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    Technical Training Short On Site Course Quote

      This course is for technical and management people who want to remain up to date on spacecraft design for both the conventional missions and the new small-set applications to communications, remote sensing, and science. Spacecraft platform design principles and trade-offs are explained with illustrative examples: structure, power, thermal, data, communications, and TT & C. Big-system and small set payload applications are covered, including new missions in mobile hand-held worldwide communications and low-cost remote-sensing. Design issues such as weight, cost, and reliability are covered with "how-to" examples. Trends in design choices, qualification and testing are discussed.

      Extensive use of real examples permit easy understanding of the systems selection criteria, relationship and interfaces which are all part of the design process. All important subsystems will be addressed and their key relationships and interface requirements discussed. Examples will begin with the general requirement and proceed with complete weight and power specifications.



      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.

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

    What You Will Learn:

    • Latest developments in satellite applications to low-orbiting constellations, satellite navigation, and geostationary communication platforms.
    • Fundamental satellite design processes and examples.
    • All important satellite subsystems and their interactions.
    • Latest Launch systems and how to select a launch vehicle.
    • Orbital maneuvers and propulsion system requirements.
    • Developments in big-system and small-set payloads.
    • How to build "better-cheaper-faster."

    Course Outline:

    1. Space Systems Engineering. ntroductory concepts. Fundamentals of systems engineering. System development process. Engineering reviews. Management of space systems.

    2. The Terrestrial Space Environment. Gravity. Solar activity. Atmosphere. Ionosphere. Spacecraft charging. Magnetosphere and trapped particles.

    3. Fundamentals of Astrodynamics. Fundamentals of dynamics. Reference Frames. Time. Two-body central force motion. Two-body problem. Trajectory perturbation. Orbit determination. Interplanetary missions.

    4. Spacecraft Propulsion, Flight Mechanics, and Launch Systems. Rocket propulsion. Force-free rocket motion. Rocket motion with gravity. Launch flight mechanics. Solid and liquid propulsion systems. Other propulsion systems. Selected launch systems.

    5. Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control. TAttitude specification. Attitude determination. Attitude sensors. Spacecraft torques. Attitude control systems, passive and active. Sample attitude control systems.

    6. Small-Sats and Other New Trends. Remote sensing applications, new sensors, Pegasus, and multiple launches on Russian, Chinese, US, ELVs. Better, faster, cheaper concepts. New manufacturing and qualification ideas. Plastic vs. ceramic parts. Bolt-it-together-and-fly vs. conventional I & T trade-offs.

    7. Space-Vehicle Platform Design. Structure design principles, graphite vs. aluminum trade-offs. Thermal design, active and passive systems. Power system design, solar arrays, batteries and options for power management. Communication links for payload sensor and TT&C data. Spacecraft-to-payload interfaces, fields of view, pointing accuracy. Hardware vs. software trade-offs and solutions.

    8. Weight, Cost, and Reliability. Weight estimating relationships, methods. Cost and cost models. PRICE, USMC-6, MODELSAT, SYSTEMATE, REVIC. Reliability models and calculations, failure rates, redundancy.

    9. Spacecraft and Component Testing. Conventional test cycles. High-density board test issues. Boundary-scan methods. IEEE 1149.1. New trends in testing. Facilities: Thermal-vac. Vibration. Compact range.


      Tuition for this four-day course is $1490 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