Scheda programma d'esame
Anno accademico2018/19

Programma non disponibile nella lingua selezionata
Learning outcomes

The course illustrates the fundamental aspects of modern space system design with a practical, hands-on approach. The core part of the course is dedicated to a near-Earth or interplanetary space mission design project, to be carried out by student teams on the basis of a broad-scope mission definition statement. Starting with the identification of the mission requirements derived from a critical analysis of the high-level mission goals, the main design choices and the main criteria involved in the design the various elements of the mission are reviewed, including specialized orbits, space vehicle architecture, ground segment and launch systems. The main issues involved in the design of a space mission are addressed: from the definition of mission goals, to the evaluation of alternative mission concepts, to the selection of a launch system, to mission operations. Team work aspects for a concurrent engineering approach and presentation techniques for complex projects are also introduced and discussed. Special attention is given to the specific design issues of small spacecraft missions and to modern low-thrust trajectory design. Projects deal with assessment of the technical feasibility and economic viability of different mission scenarios; selection of mission profile and timeline; design of orbits and trajectories; launch and in-orbit operations; sizing of the main onboard subsystems (attitude, power, thermal conditioning, propulsion, telecommunications, sensors, etc.) for the relevant space vehicles; risk analysis; and basic project management. In addition to the course project, seminars and/or lectures on specific topics are provided of relevant interest for space mission design.

Assessment criteria of knowledge


  • Continuous assessment
  • Presentations, written report and other deliverable documentation (i.e., summary mission design poster)
  • Final oral exam
Teaching methods

Delivery: face to face

Learning activities:

  • attending lectures and seminars
  • participation in all team work activities
  • participation in design project reviews and presentations
  • preparation of oral/written report and other project documentation

Attendance: Mandatory

Teaching methods:

  • Team work on a design project under continuous supervision by the instructor
  • Lectures and/or seminars of specific topics

Required reading:

  • James R. Wertz, David F. Everett, Jeffery J. Puschell, ed, Space Mission Engineering: The New SMAD, ISBN 978-1881883159, Springer - Microcosm Press, First edition, 2011.

Recommended reading:

  • Peter W. Fortescue, John P. W. Stark, ed., Spacecraft Systems Engineering, John Wiley and Sons, 1996, ISBN 0-471-93451-8
  • Vincent L. Pisacane and Robert C. Moore, ed., Fundamentals of Space Systems, Oxford University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-19-507497-1
  • Charles D. Brown, Elements of Spacecraft Design, AIAA Education Series, 2002, ISBN 1-56347-524-3
  • Vincent L. Pisacane, The Space Environment and its Effects on Space Systems, AIAA Education Series, 2008, ISBN 978-1-56347-926-7
  • Ernst Messerschmid and Reinhold Bertrand, Space Stations: systems and utilization, Springer, 1999, ISBN 3-540-65464-X
  • A. M. Cruise, J. A. Bowles, T. J. Patrick, and C.V. Goodall, Principles of Space Instrument Design, Cambridge Aerospace Series 9, Cambridge University Press 1998, ISBN 0-521-45164-7

At "Bibiloteca della Facoltà di Ingegneria":

  • Michael D. Griffin, James R. French, Space Vehicle Design, AIAA, Washington, 1991 - Collocazione: 629.471 GRI r ING - 629.471 GRI v ING - 629.471 GRI g ING
  • Brij N. Agrawal, Design of Geosynchronous Spacecraft, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1986 - Collocazione: 629.44 AGR r ING

At "Biblioteca del Dipartimento di Ingegneria Aerospaziale":

  • Charles D. Brown, Spacecraft Mission Design, AIAA, Washington, 1992 - Collocazione: 712-92-01-00
Non-attending students info

Special arrangements may be made for non-attending students on a case-by-case basis. Such arrangements must be agreed upon with the instructor before the start of the course.

Assessment methods

In evaluating student performance, the following factors are taken into accout:

- individual contribution to the mission design exercise, assessed during the whole duration of the course (first and second period). Students are expected to take an active role in team work and to be able to interact effectively with team members and the instructors;

- active participation to the project reviews,discussions andpresentations;

- individual oral exam. The discussion is mainly centered on the mission design project carried out during the course and on the specific topics treated in the lectures.

Ultimo aggiornamento 23/05/2019 14:58