ENGRMAE 146 Astronautics (2013-2014)

ENGRMAE 146 Astronautics

(Required for AE.)
Catalog Data:

ENGRMAE 146 Astronautics (Credit Units: 4) Motion in gravitational force fields, orbit transfers, rocketry, interplanetary trajectories, attitude dynamics and stabilization, navigation, reentry, the space environment. Prerequisite: MAE80. Aerospace Engineering majors have first consideration for enrollment. (Design units: 1)

Required Textbook:
. Edition, , 1969, ISBN-13 978-0123747785 .

Recommended Textbook:
  • Understanding Space, An Introduction to Astronautics, Jerry Sellers, 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill Higher education, 2005.
  • Astronautics, Walter, Ulrich, John Wiley & Sons, 2007.
William A. Sirignano and Benjamin F. Villac
Relationship to Student Outcomes
This course relates to Student Outcomes: EAC a, EAC c, EAC e, EAC g, EAC j, EAC k.
Course Learning Outcomes. Students will:

1. Readily compute coordinate transformations, such as transformations between observations in different reference frames or transformations between different sets of orbital elements. (EAC a)

2. Apply the fundamental principles of dynamics in both inertial and non-inertial reference frames. (EAC e)

3. Understand two-body orbital dynamics, the main trajectory classes, orbital transfers and spacecraft tracking methods. (EAC a)

4. Understand rotational dynamics, main control strategies for attitude dynamics, actuators and sensors. (EAC a)

5. Numerically integrate simple motions and be acquainted with a major modeling/analysis tool used in industry. (EAC k)

6. Understand the major components and phases of a space mission and perform preliminary design for space mission planning. (EAC e)

7. Understand fundamental trade-offs in space systems design and use them to specify missions objectives. (EAC c)

8. Be acquainted with the major agencies, international collaborations and systems supporting space exploitation and exploration. (EAC j)

9. Be aware of the major hazards in space for humans and spacecrafts. (EAC j)

10. Understand the impact of space systems on our current society and the current policies for space exploitation and exploration. (EAC j)

11. Write preliminary design reports with clear statements of design choices and justifications backed by analysis (EAC g)

Prerequisites by Topic

Engineering Dynamics (MAE80)

Lecture Topics:
  • Astronautics in our society and as engineer
  • Near-Earth and space environments
  • Rocket science and launch facilities
  • Orbital mechanics
  • Orbital transfers
  • Interplanetary trajectories
  • Close-proximity operations
  • Rigid-body dynamics
  • Attitude control and sensors
  • Navigation and tracking systems
  • Re-entry dynamics
Class Schedule:

Meets for 3 hours of lecture and 1 hour of discussion each week for 10 weeks.

Computer Usage:

Computer programs such as STK/Astrogator, Matlab and Mathematica are used to perform homeworks and develop preliminary mission baselines for the class project.

Laboratory Projects:


Professional Component

Learn the basics of a professional software suite used in astronautic industries (STK/Astrogator from AGI). Contributes toward the Engineering Topics and/or Design experience for both Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering majors.

Design Content Description

Homeworks include some preliminary-design problems.

Lectures: 100%
Laboratory Portion: 0%
Grading Criteria:
  • Homeworks 20%
  • Project 20 %
  • Midterm Exam 30%
  • Final Exam 30%
  • Total: 100%
Estimated ABET Category Content:

Mathematics and Basic Science: 0.0 credit units

Computing: 0.0 credit units

Engineering Topics: 4.0 credit units

Engineering Science: 3.0 credit units

Engineering Design: 1.0 credit units

October 3, 2013
Senate Approved:
April 29, 2013
Approved Effective:
2013 Fall Qtr