2020 Application of Systems Engineering

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Engineering Sciences and Design
Sakamoto Hiraku  Akita Daisuke 
Course component(s)
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Syllabus updated
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Course description and aims

For space explorations and space developments, achieving objectives (missions) often requires the construction of large and complex systems. The same is true for other various projects, such as international aids or resource developments. In this lecture, students will learn, thorough hands-on activities, practical systems engineering, which is a methodology of how to develop and operate large, complex systems.
The target of this lecture is to provide hands-on experience using a nano-satellite development kit and model-based systems engineering (MBSE) exercises with sysML. By doing this, students will get a feel that systems engineering is not a mere theory but a collection of modern best practices. The students will obtain the groundwork for applying the systems engineering methodology to the system development projects that they will lead by themselves in the near future.

Student learning outcomes

By completing this course, students will be able to acquire the following skills:
1) Students will be able to apply systems engineering in practice, through group assignments.
2) Through assembling a nano-satellite kit, as an example of a complex system with integrated subsystems, students will able to understand how the individual elements are integrated into one system, as a physical sense.
3) Through experiencing model-based systems engineering, based on sysML, students will be able to utilize the methodology to comprehend and trade-off a complex system without relying on huge documentation.


system, design, project, verification, validation, management, satellite, MBSE, sysML

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

 The handouts are distributed in the lecture. Students will learn practical systems engineering by using nano-satellite’s hardware and system models as examples of complex systems. Students will be divided into teams to make a satellite mission proposal. Students will be divided into English and Japanese teams for the team activities. (Presentations should be in English.)
 In FY2020, some lectures will be given via Zoom. The first lecture will be done via Zoom, so please register for the class by the day before it starts (the access infomation to the Zoom will be notified by e-mail).

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Systems Engineering overview Assigned in the lecture.
Class 2 Nano-satellite systems 1 Assigned in the lecture.
Class 3 Nano-satellite systems 2 Assigned in the lecture.
Class 4 Vee-model, Life cycle model, Model-based Systems Engineering Assigned in the lecture.
Class 5 User model and Function model (context analysis) Assigned in the lecture.
Class 6 Function model and Physical model (static/dynamic) Assigned in the lecture.
Class 7 Implementation, Verification, and Validation Assigned in the lecture.
Class 8 Final presentation Assigned in the lecture.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to the course material.



Reference books, course materials, etc.

NASA Systems Engineering Handbook (NASA/SP-2007-6105)
INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook (INCOSE-TP-2003-002-03.2.2)
The handouts are distributed in the lecture.

Assessment criteria and methods

The achievement of the objectives is assessed by the assignments in each lecture (50%) and the team presentation at the end (50%).

Related courses

  • MEC.M332 : Space Systems Design Project
  • MEC.M432 : Practical Space Engineering Project
  • GEG.T503 : Introduction to Systems Engineering

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

Students should have a basic knowledge of programming, as the course will involve simple programming using mbed.
Satellites will be used as an example of a system, but no knowledge of space engineering is required.


Lectures are given in English, but Japanese may be used for team activities. However, presentations must be made in English.

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