MECH ENG 3104 - Space Vehicle Design
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2022
General Course Information
Course Code MECH ENG 3104 Course Space Vehicle Design Coordinating Unit School of Mechanical Engineering Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 4.5 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Assumed Knowledge MECH ENG 1007, MECH ENG 2021, 6 units of Level II Applied Maths courses Restrictions BE(Mechanical & Aerospace) and associated double degree students only Course Description The aim of the course is to introduce the students to the basic theories and design criteria of space vehicles. Historical developments in space flight are explained as are the basic rocket equations, as well as the principles of rocket staging and its optimisation. The course includes orbital and trajectory theory, where two-body motion, manoeuvres and special trajectories are described. Numerical integration will be introduced. Individual subsystems are covered in detail. A section about rocket propulsion focuses on performance, propulsion requirements and various propellant systems (monopropellant, bipropellant, solid, cold gas and electrical and electromagnetic propulsion systems). Also covered are environmental control and life support systems, electrical power subsystems, communications and thermal control systems.
Course Coordinator: Dr Robin Georg
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesOn successful completion of this course students will be able to:
1 Explain Space Vehicle Design, its complex issues requiring expertise from many different areas of Aerospace Engineering; 2 Recognise space vehicle types and subsystems; 3 Explain the parameters that influence the design of space vehicles including their mission, orbital mechanics and the space environment; and 4 Use analytical and numerical methods required to solve space vehicle design problems.
The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency: 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 3.2 3.3 3.5 3.6
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth
Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.
Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.
Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills
Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.
Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness
Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.
Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.
1, 2, 4
- Course notes
- Textbook: Peter Fortescue, Graham Swinerd, and John Stark, Spacecraft Systems Engineering, 4th Ed., Wiley, 2011,
- Any online material will be available at: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/
- Digital recordings of lectures (e.g., taping lectures, wireless network, pod-casts) may not be made available to students who are absent.
- Spacecraft Structures and Mechanisms – From Concept to Launch, 1995, Thomas Sarafin and Wiley Larson (editors).
- Spacecraft Mission Design, 1998, Charles D. Brown.
- Dynamics of Atmospheric Reentry, 1993, F.J. Regan and S.M. Anandakrishnan.
- Keys to Space, 2003, A. Houston and M. Rycroft.
Online LearningCopies of assignments and any paper material distributed during class will also be posted on My-Uni.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesLectures supported by problem-solving tutorials and a practical laboratory developing material covered in lectures
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.A three unit course has a minimum workload of 156 hours regardless of the length of the course. It is expected that students spend 48hrs/week during teaching periods, additional time may need to be spent acquiring assumed knowledge, working on assessment during non-teaching periods, and preparing for and attending examinations.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements:
Formal Contact: Lectures and tutorials: 45 hours,Practical: 1.5 hours, Exam: 3 hoursSuggested personal workload (will vary between students): Reading and revising course material: 30-50 hours, Completion of assignments and practical report: 30-50 hours, Exam preparation: 30-50 hours.
Learning Activities SummaryThe numbers quoted here are approximations and will vary if some activities take more or less time than anticipated:
I. Introduction of Spacecraft – 4 Lectures
• Type of spacecraft
• Design procedure
• Spacecraft configuration
• System integration
II. Orbital mechanics – 7 lectures
• Basic of dynamics/orbital mechanics
• Types of trajectories
• Orbit transfers
• Geostationary Earth Orbits (GEO)
• Interplanetary missions
III. Propulsion system – 7 lectures
• Basic of aerodynamics and thermodynamics
• Chemical rockets
• Spacecraft propulsion
• Electric propulsion
• Advanced propulsion
IV. Launch systems – 4 lectures
• Rocket equation
• Rocket staging
• Basic launch vehicle performance and operations
• Spacecraft launch phases and mission planning
V. Planetary entry/re-entry – 4 lectures
• Fundamentals of hypersonic aerothermodynamics
• Ballistic re-entry
• Entry/re-entry issues
VI. Attitude control system – 4 lectures
• ACS overview
• Torques and Torquers
• Attitude measurement
VII. Electrical power system – 1 lecture
• Power system element
• Primary power source
• Secondary power source
VIII. Thermal control system – 2 lectures
• Fundamental of Thermal analysis
• Thermal design
• Thermal protection system
IX. Communication subsystem – 2 lectures
X. Space environment – 2 lectures
XI. Assembly, integration and verification – 2 lectures
XII. Student Seminars/Presentations – 4 lectures
XIII. Review of course material – 2 lectures
Specific Course RequirementsStudents will be required to adhere to laboratory conduct safety guidelines for the practical component of this course.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative Due (week)* Hurdle criteria Learning outcomes Assignment 1-5 25 Individual Summative Weeks 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 attendance 1. 2. 3. 4. Group Assignment/Project 15 Group Summative Week 12 attendance 1. 2. 3. 4. Laboratory 10 Individual Summative 2. 4. Final Exam 50 Individual Summative Final Exam 1. 2. 3. 4. Total 100
This assessment breakdown is registered as an exemption to the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy. The exemption is related to the Procedures clause(s): 1. b. 2.
This course has a hurdle requirement. Meeting the specified hurdle criteria is a requirement for passing the course.
Assessment Related RequirementsIn order to pass this course, students must achieve a pass grade for the microgravity performance laboratory.
- Final exam is a 3-hour long open book exam, to be conducted during the formal university examination period.
- There will be 5 assignments in total. These are individual assignments (no collaboration). These will be distributed during class and also placed on MyUni. Due dates for these assignments may be subject to change; any changes will be announced in-class, written on the assignment, and posted on MyUni at the time the assignment is first distributed.
- The microgravity laboratory is run as part of the formal Level III laboratories.
SubmissionUnless otherwise specified, submission of assignments and laboratory reports will be made through the hand-in boxes located on Level 2 of Engineering South. Cover-sheets should be attached to all submissions (cover-sheets located next to the submission boxes).
Late submissions will be penalised at 20% per day late. All submissions are due at 1pm. Extensions for assignments will only be given in exceptional circumstances and a case for this with supporting documentation must be made either in writing after a lecture, submitted in hard copy to the front office (to be passed on to the lecturer), or emailed to the lecturer directly.
Assignments will be assessed and returned within 4 weeks from submission (usually significantly less). Assignments that are marked prior to the last class will be brought to class for students to collect. Any assignments not collected in-class will be left in the assignment collection boxes next to the elevator on level 2 of Engineering South. There will be no opportunities for re-submission of work of unacceptable standard. Due to the large class size, feedback on assignments will be limited to in-class discussion resulting from questions from students.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.
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