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Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Unit Catalogue 2007/08

EE20141 Space platforms and vehicles

Credits: 6
Level: Intermediate
Semester: 1
Assessment: CW 20%, EX 80%
Aims: Students completing this unit will be equipped to:
* understand the principal functions and characteristics of space platform subsystems;
* perform basic calculations to determine the required characteristics of space platform subsystems;
* perform first order calculations to evaluate propulsion requirements for launch vehicles and installation systems and to appreciate the need for more complex calculations taking second order and higher effects into account.
Learning Outcomes:
After completion, students should be able to understand the main features of spacecraft propulsion systems, attitude control, electrical power systems, thermal control, ground stations and telecommunications and understand different types of orbits used by various missions and basic celestial mechanics.
Students will learn to apply basic physical and engineering principles to solve simple problems relating to spacecraft orbits, propulsion systems and communications. Students will learn to logically analyse spacecraft mission requirements, Presentation skills are developed through the assessed work.
Space Platforms: subsystems; attitude and orbit control, stabilisation, accuracy, propulsion, specific impulse, propellant mass, electrical power supply, power, voltage stability, telemetry, tracking and command, number of channels, security of communications, thermal control, structure, Orbital options for Earth based spacecraft: LEO, MEO, HEO and GEO. The launch window, calculation of required velocity increments for GEO launches, use of LEO transfer orbit, inclination correction and circularisation, use of apogee motors. Perturbations on Keplerian orbits, gravitational asymmetry, lunar and solar influences, aerodynamic drag, Earth's magnetic field, solar radiation pressure, meteorites and debris, internal torques. Introduction to requirements and techniques for planetary and deep space missions.