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AERO5760: Spacecraft and Satellite Design (2014 - Semester 2)

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Unit: AERO5760: Spacecraft and Satellite Design (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Wu, Xiaofeng
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: AERO2705.
Prohibitions: AERO3760.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit aims to provide students with a learning environment that promotes systems thinking and allows students to develop skills in systems analysis and design. In particular the UoS will focus on Aerospace systems, and students will develop both theoretical and practical skills in the area of systems engineering for this discipline. The primary objective is to develop fundamental systems engineering and systems thinking skills. At the end of this unit students will be able to: define the requirements process and be able to apply it to aerospace systems design.; conduct requirements analysis for an aerospace system and to drill down through requirements breakdown and the use of the V-diagram in this analysis; conduct functional and technical analysis and determine design drivers in a system; manage the use of a log book and its application in engineering design; develop technical skills in the design and development of satellite subsystems; conduct appropriate interaction processes between team members for the successful achievement of goals. Course content will include fundamentals of systems engineering; satellite subsystems; systems design.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Timetable: AERO5760 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Practical Experience 2.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 6.00 1 13
T&L Activities: Lecture: The students and the lecturer will discuss the project progress. Also guest lectures will be arranged.

Practical Experience: During the practicals the students will design and build the satellite bus subsystems.

Independent Study: The average student is expected to spend at least 6 hours on this UoS per week, outside of the standard contact hours. Students have spent more time in the past focusing on their practical work in order to achieve high results.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Design space systems to specification and assess the performance of the design. Design (Level 5)
Knowledge of a wide range of spacecraft design problems ranging from single payloads to a whole spacecraft. Understanding of the engineering aspects of spacecraft and mission design. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
An ability to gather, manage, integrate and critique information attained from various sources in order ascertain the relevant information required for the identification, formulation and solution of a problem within the engineering context. Information Seeking (Level 4)
An ability to communicate effectively, clearly and concisely ideas, concepts and solutions to both technical and non-technical audiences. Communication (Level 4)
Log book recording skills and documentation of the design process. Professional Conduct (Level 4)
A commitment to, and fundamental appreciation of, the concept of successful teamwork and the ability to communicate effectively, clearly and concisely as a team leader or member of the group. Project and Team Skills (Level 3)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Design (Level 5)
1. Knowledge of system engineering aspects of designing spacecraft.
2. Knowledge of Spacecraft Bus Subsystems & Design;
3. Ability to perform Space Mission Analysis & Design
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
4. Knowledge of the Space Environment & its Effects.
5. Knowledge of Applications of Small, Low-Cost Satellites.
Communication (Level 4)
6. Ability to communicate the design philosophy as well as the results.
Professional Conduct (Level 4)
7. Document the design process in sufficient detail that another engineer can continue on with the work just by going through the log book.
Project and Team Skills (Level 3)
8. Ability to design as a team of engineers.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Assignment 1 Yes 15.00 Week 3 1, 2, 6,
2 Assignment 2 Yes 50.00 Week 10 1, 4, 5, 7, 8,
3 Assignment 3 Yes 15.00 Week 12 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8,
4 Presentation 1 Yes 5.00 Week 4 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8,
5 Presentation 2 Yes 5.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8,
6 Lab 1 Yes 5.00 Week 7 1, 2, 8,
7 Lab 2 Yes 5.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4, 8,
Assessment Description: Assignment 1 will focus on the use of Systems Engineering design with particular focus on the development of a preliminary design review. This assessment includes technical report (80%) and Log Book (20%).

Assignment 2 will focus on the development of hardware of the satellite subsystems with particular focus on the development of a critical design review. This mark includes design report (80%) and log book (20%)

Assignment 3 will focus on the integration and test of satellites. This mark includes integration and test report (80%) and log book assessment (20%).

Presentation 1: students will present the preliminary design review of the project.

Presentation 2: students will present the critical design reviw and testing results of the project.

Lab 1: students will work on the classroom satellite.

Lab 2: students will work on the satellite attitude determination and control subsystem.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
Online Course Content:

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Lecture: Introduction and Systems Engineering
Week 2 Project Meeting
Week 3 Project Meeting / Guest Lecture
Assessment Due: Assignment 1
Week 4 Preliminary Design Review Presentation
Assessment Due: Presentation 1
Week 5 Project Meeting / Guest Lecture
Week 6 Project Meeting / Guest Lecture
Week 7 Project Meeting / Guest Lecture
Assessment Due: Lab 1
Week 8 Project Meeting / Guest Lecture
Assignment 2
Week 9 Project Meeting / Guest Lecture
Week 10 Project Meeting / Guest Lecture
Assessment Due: Assignment 2
Week 11 Project Meeting (testing plan)
Week 12 Project Meeing / Testing
Assessment Due: Assignment 3
Week 13 Final presenation
Assessment Due: Presentation 2
Assessment Due: Lab 2
STUVAC (Week 14) This week is left free.
Exam Period No exam is required.

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Engineering (2024 and earlier) 2013, 2014
Master of Professional Engineering (Aerospace) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Master of Professional Engineering (Mechanical) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design (Level 5) Yes 37.5%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4) Yes 25.5%
Information Seeking (Level 4) Yes 0%
Communication (Level 4) Yes 11.5%
Professional Conduct (Level 4) Yes 10%
Project and Team Skills (Level 3) Yes 15.5%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.