2020 Practical Space Engineering Project

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Mechanical Engineering
Matunaga Saburo  Nakanishi Hiroki  Chujo Toshihiro 
Class Format
Lecture / Exercise /Experiment    (ZOOM)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Intensive ()  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

The aim of this course is for students to learn practical processes of space engineering theory and project management techniques through design and creation of artificial satellite models, and launching experiments, in particular, through efforts to think logically as much as possible. For the success of space missions, the capabilities of effectively carrying out a project as well as detailed design and plans that are theoretically confirmed. In this course, students will tackle the development of satellite models and experiments on flight, making full use of all knowledge of space engineering acquired so far. They will fully understand the relationship between theory and practice and application methods to learn management skills to effectively run a project. In addition, through coordination and negotiations for rocket launches and on-site reporting sessions and so on, they will develop their abilities to communicate their thoughts, understand others, and work together with others.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to
1) Gain basic/common knowledge of space engineering necessary for satellite development
2) Learn the basics of project management to understand and implement the process leading from project planning to achievement
3) Learn skills for teamwork, such as leadership and followership
4) Lead negotiations with others/other groups to improve their abilities to understand others and communicate their thoughts
5) Learn design theory as engineering by theoretically analyzing and integrating the knowledge and insights through design, development and experiments.

Course taught by instructors with work experience

Applicable How instructors' work experience benefits the course
In this lecture, practical knowledge on space engineering is provided by lecturers who have experiences about research and development of space science satellites and deep space exploration spacecraft in JAXA.


Space Engineering, Satellite design and development, Project Management

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

In order to carry out advanced missions, students will design and develop a satellite model of beverage can size, called CANSAT, and perform a deployment test from a balloon. Furthermore, although it is out of the scope of the course, students may participate in the rocket launching event to be held in the US in September to conduct flight tests, if they wish to participate and they pass external reviews. They will work on preparation so that they can pass required functional/environmental tests and examinations set by NPOs in Japan. In principle, the number of the participating students will be limited to around 10. In addition to regular lecture classes where progress reports, discussions, environmental tests, and review sessions will be held, students will participate in external reviews, joint balloon experiments, and the like.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Guidance Define policy of the project.
Class 2 Mission design 1 Conduct Mission design 1
Class 3 Mission design 2 Conduct Mission design 2
Class 4 Mission Definition Review (MDR) Conduct Mission Definition Review (MDR)
Class 5 Structure design and component tests 1 Conduct Structure design and component tests 1
Class 6 Structure design and component tests 2 Conduct Structure design and component tests 2
Class 7 Preliminary Design Review (PDR) Conduct Preliminary Design Review (PDR)
Class 8 Detailed structure design and component tests Conduct Detailed structure design and component tests
Class 9 Critical Design Review (CDR) Conduct Critical Design Review (CDR)
Class 10 Engineering Model development and functional and environment tests Conduct Engineering Model development and functional and environment tests
Class 11 Flight Model development and functional and environment tests Conduct Flight Model development and functional and environment tests
Class 12 Balloon flight test Conduct Flight Model development and functional and environment tests
Class 13 Flight Model development and functional and environment tests 2 Conduct Balloon flight test
Class 14 Presentation Make a presentation



Reference books, course materials, etc.

Handouts and several texts introduced in the lecture

Assessment criteria and methods

Report about CanSat design, development, tests, process, and so on, is evaluated in a comprehensive way (100%).

Related courses

  • MEC.M433 : Space Systems Analysis A
  • MEC.M531 : Space Systems Analysis B
  • MEC.M434 : Space Robotics
  • MEC.M532 : Space Systems and Missions
  • MEC.M533 : Special Topics of Advanced Space Engineering A
  • MEC.M534 : Special Topics of Advanced Space Engineering B
  • MEC.M431 : Space Systems Design
  • MEC.M231 : Introduction to Space Engineering
  • MEC.M331 : Space Systems Engineering
  • MEC.M333 : Advanced Space Engineering

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

First, strong communication skill in Japanese must be required, and basic knowledge on Space Engineering is needed.
Attendance students are limited to about ten in number by a selection.
Main working language is Japanese for feasible and efficient communications, but if necessary, English summary will be provided.

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