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ME40346: Spacecraft engineering

[Page last updated: 27 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Mechanical Engineering
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
ME40346 Reassessment Examination (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Description: Aims:
To provide an insight into the spacecraft design process and space missions.

Learning Outcomes:
After successfully completing this unit the student will be able to:
* Describe the basic challenges of the space environment.
* Explain the basic principles of orbit mechanics and manoeuvres and the relationships between the satellite orbit and its ability to perform its mission.
* Describe the typical spacecraft configurations for different space missions. Demonstrate familiarity with the basic concepts, components, design approaches, and key principles relating to the type of spacecraft and its sub-systems.
* Explain the basic principles of satellite navigation systems.

Problem solving; mathematical modelling; numeracy; written communication; IT; working independently.

Historical perspective of the motion of celestial bodies and history of spaceflight. Fundamentals of Newtonian mechanics and vector operations. Orbital mechanics. Orbital manoeuvres. Lunar and interplanetary trajectories. Spacecraft environment. Spacecraft sub-systems. Spacecraft attitude and control systems. Spacecraft propulsion system. Spacecraft structures. Satellite navigation systems.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

ME40346 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • UEME-AFM04 : MEng(Hons) Aerospace Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM04 : MEng(Hons) Aerospace Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)
  • UEME-AFM16 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM16 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)