2016 Space Systems Engineering

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Mechanical Engineering
Furuya Hiroshi  Matunaga Saburo   
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
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Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

The instructors will lecture on the orbit and attitude control of a spacecraft, and structural dynamics.

Student learning outcomes

In this course, students will learn about the basics of the following topics.

- Orbit of a spacecraft
Sphere of influence, the patched conic method, interplanetary/moon travel orbits, three-body problems

- Spacecraft attitude
Coordinate transformation, attitude representations, kinematics, dynamics, disturbance torque (gravity-gradient, solar radiation, electromagnetic and other torque), nutation of spin satellites, and various types of attitude control, such as control of gravity gradient stabilized satellites, stabilization control of spin satellites, control of three-axis stabilized satellites, attitude change control.

- Structural dynamics
Interaction between structural oscillations and aerodynamic loads, such as divergence and flutter, structural oscillations and sloshing, pogo effect, and flexible space structures, in particular, the basics of structural dynamics of membrane space structures


sphere of influence, patched conic method, interplanetary/moon travel orbit, three-body problem, coordinate transformation, attitude representations, kinematics and dynamics, disturbance torque, nutation, gravity-gradient stabilization, control of a three-axis stabilized satellite, attitude change control, structural oscillation interaction, divergence, flutter, sloshing, pogo effect, structural dynamics of membrane space structures

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Three instructors will give lectures in turn on topics about the orbit and attitude control of a spacecraft, and structural dynamics, using a blackboard, PowerPoint slides, videos. Report assignments will be given as needed.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 TBD TBD
Class 2 TBD TBD
Class 3 TBD TBD
Class 4 TBD TBD
Class 5 TBD TBD
Class 6 TBD TBD
Class 7 TBD TBD
Class 8 TBD TBD
Class 9 TBD TBD
Class 10 TBD TBD
Class 11 TBD TBD
Class 12 TBD TBD
Class 13 TBD TBD
Class 14 TBD TBD
Class 15 TBD TBD



Reference books, course materials, etc.


Assessment criteria and methods

Test and report

Related courses

  • MEC.M231 : Introduction to Space Engineering
  • MEC.A201 : Engineering Mechanics
  • MEC.B241 : Exercises in Engineering Mathematics
  • MEC.B242 : Exercises in Applied Mathematics
  • MEC.M333 : Advanced Space Engineering
  • MEC.M332 : Space Systems Design Project
  • MEC.M334 : Aeronautical and Aerospace Technology

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Students are required to have a good knowledge of dynamics, vector calculus, and differentiation. It is desirable that students have completed the Introduction to Space Engineering course or have equivalent knowledge, or basic knowledge of Control Theory or Theory of Vibration.

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