Courses of Instruction

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In March 2005, the Astronautics courses were given the new prefix

Schedule of Classes for This Semester

Schedule of Classes for Next Semester

Gateway to the major in Astronautical Engineering. Introduction to space, space exploration and the space business. Elements of orbits, spacecraft systems, rocket propulsion, and communications. Laboratory: Introduction to graphics, computation and simulation.

Fall 2006 Course Website

Solar system, two-body problem, orbits, Hohmann transfer, rocket equation, space environment and its effects on space systems, sun, solar wind, geomagnetic field, atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere.

Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics; kinetics of atoms, molecules, and photons; compressible fluid dynamics.

Fall 2006 Course Website

Basics of spacecraft dynamics, Euler's equation, introduction to space plasma physics, spacecraft in plasma, radiation effects on space systems, space instrumentation: detectors, analyzers, spectrometers.

Fall 2006 Course Website

Spacecraft mission design, space environment, attitude determination and control, telecommunications, propulsion, structures and mechanisms, thermal control, power systems, launch systems and facilites.

Physical description of kinetic nature of gas flows; distribution function; introduction to the Boltzmann equation; free-molecular flow; surface and molecular reflection properties; Monte Carlo flow calculations.

Introduction to rocket engineering. Space missions and thrust requirements. Compressible gas dynamics. Propellant chemistry and thermodynamics. Liquid- and solid-fueled rockets. Nuclear and electric propulsion.

Two-body motion, rigid-body motion, attitude dynamics and maneuvers, spacecraft stabilization: gravity gradient, reaction wheels, magnetic torques, thruster attitude control.

a: Molecular structure; radiative processes; microscopic description of gas phenomena; translational, rotational, vibrational, and electronic freedom degrees; particle energy distributions; microscopic representation of thermodynamic functions. b: Kinetic concepts in gas physics; thermal non-equilibrium; intermolecular potentials; transport of radiation and particles in high-temperature gas; dissociation and ionization equilibrium; energy relaxation.

Fall 2006 Course Website

System components; vehicle structure, propulsion systems, flight dynamics, thermal control, power systems, telecommunication. Interfaces and tradeoffs between these components. Testing, system reliability, and integration.

Class website

Reviews all aspects of space mission design for practical approaches to reducing cost. Examines "LightSat" mission experience and potential applicability to large-scale missions.

Programmatic/conceptual design synthesis/choice creation methods for complex space missions. Aerospace system engineering/Architecture tools to create innovative projects. Evaluated by faculty/industry/NASA experts.

Space environments and interactions with space systems. Vacuum, neutral and ionized species, plasma, radiation, micrometeoroids. Phenomena important for spacecraft operations.

Review of microscopic processes involving particles and radiation, and their impact on properties of high-temperature gases and plasmas in local thermal equilibrium and non-equilibrium.

Particle-based computational simulation methods for rarefied, high-speed flows. Molecular collision kinetics. Monte Carlo direct simulation and related techniques.

Spacecraft and orbit thermal environments; design, analysis, testing of spacecraft thermal control system and components; active and passive thermal control, spacecraft and launch vehicle interfaces.

The operation, accuracy, resolution, figures of merit, and application of instruments which either produce images of ground scenes or probe the atmosphere as viewed primarily from space.

Applied analytical methods (vibrations of single and multi degree of freedom systems, finite element modeling, spacecraft applications); requirements definition process; analytical cycles; and design verification.

Nuclear, electric, sails, and far-term propulsion systems. Overviews of nozzles, heat transfer, electromagnetics, rarefied gases, and plasma physics. Analysis of electrothermal, electrostatic and electromagnetic thrusters.

Physical principles; two-body and central force motion; trajectory correction maneuvers; position and velocity in conic orbits; Lambert's problem; celestial mechanics; orbital perturbations.

Theory of perturbations of orbits; numerical methods in orbital mechanics; satellite dynamics; averaging methods; resonance; mission analysis.

Statistical orbit determination: (weighted) least squares, batch and sequential (Kalman) processing, illustrative examples; online ephemeris generation: potentially hazardous asteroids, comets, satellites; launch: vehicles, payloads, staging.

Introduction to solar arrays, batteries, nuclear power sources, mechanical energy storage. Application theory of operation, practical considerations. Subsystem topologies and performance. Design optimization techniques.

Review of attitude dynamics, gravity gradient stabilization, attitude stabilization with a spin, attitude maneuvers, control using momentum exchange devices, momentum-biased stabilization, reaction thruster control.

Dynamics of systems of particles and rigid bodies; spacecraft attitude systems; attitude maneuvers (spin, precession, nutation, etc.); attitude stabilization and attitude determination; simulation methods.