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ASTE 101


ASTE 101 Fall 2006:
Introduction to Astronautics


4 units
Lecture Tuesday and Thursday 12:30-1:45, KAP 166
Lab Wednesday 8:30-9:50, SAL 127

Instructor:

Dan Erwin, RRB 218, (213) 740-5358, erwin@usc.edu.

Office Hours: Tuesdays 10:30-12:30, Thursdays 3:30-5, or by appointment.

Text: Jerry Jon Sellers, Understanding Space: An Introduction to Astronautics, 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill, 2005. ISBN 0-07-340775-5

Midterm Exams: Thursday, September 21, in class. Thursday, October 26, in class.

Final Exam: Tuesday, December 12, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM in the regular classroom.

Homework: Assigned weekly. Due on Tuesdays in class.

Grading: Homework, 25%; each midterm, 20%; final exam, 35%.

Software used:

Matlab: A general-purpose numeric computation environment, with some symbolic capability. An interpreted C-like language, extended with vector and matrix syntax, is coupled with mathematics and graphics libraries. The student who is comfortable with Matlab will be able to do numeric solution of any problem he or she is faced with, as well as provide graphical representation of the solutions. USC-ISD maintains Matlab on the student computing cluster. The student version of Matlab is available at the bookstore; while it is not necessary to have the program installed on the student's computer, it is very convenient. Matlab is used throughout the undergraduate curriculum, so its purchase is highly recommended.

STK (Satellite Toolkit): A package for setting up, simulating, and visualizing the operation of space missions. Launch, orbits and stationkeeping, attitude dynamics and control, communications, and ground station operations can all be simulated. ASTD has a site license for STK through a donation from the company, Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI). Installation CDs will be provided.


Course Material:

The times and topics given below are approximate, and the list may change as the semester progresses. We will see how things go and take more or less time on each topic as seems appropriate.
Week Date Topic Reading
1 08/22 & 08/24 Introduction to the space industry: communication, remote sensing, exploration. Unique characteristics of autonomous spacecraft.  Ch. 1, 2
2 08/29 & 08/31 Intro to computation. The universe and solar system. Time and units. Atmosphere. Space environment.  Ch. 3; Matlab tutorials
3 09/05 & 09/07 Rocket propulsion.  Ch. 14, secs. 1, 2
4 09/12 & 09/14 Vehicle performance. Staging.  Ch. 14, sec 3
5 09/19 & 09/21 Intro to STK. FIRST MIDTERM EXAM.  STK tutorials
6 09/26 & 09/28 Intro to orbits.  Ch. 4.
7 10/03 & 10/05 Orbital elements. Ground tracks. Field of view.  Ch. 5
8 10/10 & 10/12 Orbital maneuvers.  Ch. 6
9 10/17 & 10/19 Interplanetary trajectories. Departure and arrival.  Ch. 7, secs. 1, 2
10 10/24 & 10/26 Gravity assist. SECOND MIDTERM EXAM.  Ch. 7, sec. 3
11 10/31 & 11/02 Earth launch.  Ch. 9
12 11/07 & 11/09 Spacecraft systems.  Ch. 13
13 11/14 & 11/16 Current and past deep-space missions and knowledge gained from them.  Handouts
14 11/21 & 11/23 Politics and economics of the space industry.  Ch. 16
15 11/28 & 11/30 Special topics. Review.