Understanding Space

Course Length:



This two-day course provides an overview of the fundamentals of concepts and technologies of modern spacecraft systems design and operation. Satellite system and mission design is an essentially interdisciplinary enterprise that combines engineering, science, and external phenomena. We will concentrate on scientific and engineering foundations of spacecraft subsystems.

The fundamentals of subsystem technologies provide an indispensable basis for systems engineering. The basic nomenclature, vocabulary, and concepts will make it possible for the students to converse with understanding with subsystem specialists. Case studies will be used to illustrate real world examples.

The course is designed for individuals 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, managers and technicians with diverse backgrounds and varying levels of experience.


What you will learn:

  • Key design factors for satellites
  • Constraints of space environment
  • Communications, power and structure design requirements
  • Common orbits, including geo synchronous, sun synchronous, Molniya, etc..
  • Fundamentals of spacecraft subsystems.
  • How to calculate velocity increments for typical orbital maneuvers.
  • How to calculate required amount of propellant.

Course Outline:

  • Space in Our Lives
  • The Space Environment
  • Understanding Orbits
  • Maneuvering in Space
  • Space Systems Engineering & Design
  • Payloads
  • Spacecraft Subsystems
  • Attitude Control Systems
  • Communications
  • Power
  • Survivability
  • Structures/Mechanisms
  • System Integration & Test
  • Simulation
  • Launch
  • Mission & Ground Operations
  • Space Politics and Economics



REGISTRATION:  There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course.   We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING:  If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or ati@aticourses.com. Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time.   To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at ati@aticourses.com.

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at ati@aticourses.com


  • For more than 30 years, Thomas S. Logsdon, M. S., has worked on the Navstar GPS and other related technologies at the Naval Ordinance Laboratory, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed Martin, Boeing Aerospace, and Rockwell International. His research projects and consulting assignments have included the Transit Navigation Satellites, The Tartar and Talos shipboard missiles, and the Navstar GPS. In addition, he has helped put astronauts on the moon and guide their colleagues on rendezvous missions headed toward the Skylab capsule.

    Some of his more challenging assignments have centered around constellation coverage studies, GPS performance enhancement, military applications, spacecraft survivability, attitude determination differential navigation, booster rocket performance enhancement.

    Tom Logsdon has taught short courses and lectured in 31 different countries. He has written and published 40 technical papers and journal articles. He is also the author of 29 technical books on various engineering and scientific subjects. These include Understanding the Navstar, Orbital Mechanics: Theory and Applications, Mobile Communication Satellites, and The Navstar Global Positioning System.

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

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