This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of systems engineering and their particular application to the development of space systems. It describes how the systems engineering viewpoint differs from that of the engineering specialist, as well as the essential role that systems engineering plays across the mission design life cycle. Topics include requirements analysis, trade studies, concept definition, interface definition, system synthesis, and engineering design. Techniques and analysis methods for making supportable quantitative decisions will also be explored, along with risk assessment and mitigation planning. The importance of thorough systems engineering from the initiation of the project through launch and flight operations will be emphasized. This is intended as the first course in the Space Systems Engineering program curriculum so that the student establishes a firm grasp of the fundamentals of systems engineering as applied to space programs. Examples will be presented from real space missions and programs, with assignments, special topics, and a team project focused on typical space systems engineering problems and applied methods of technical problem resolution.
Prerequisite(s): Cannot have already completed EN.645.662 Intro to Systems Engineering
The effective development of space systems is predicated on a firm understanding of the foundational technical and systems engineering components necessary to both comprehend the design task and formulate an appropriate solution. For engineers and technical managers seeking to develop this working knowledge and associated skills, this course will provide an overview of the key elements comprising space systems and an analytic methodology for their investigation. With a strong systems engineering context, topics will include fundamentals on astrodynamics, power systems, communications, command and data handling, thermal management, attitude control, mechanical configuration, and structures, as well as techniques and analysis methods for remote sensing applications. In addition, a number of supplemental topics will be included to provide further breadth and exposure. This is the first course of a two-semester sequence that features a combination of instruction from practitioner subject matter experts, and a team design project.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of EN.675.600 Systems Engineering for Space, or with approval of the instructor.
This course will build on the foundational elements introduced in 675.601 Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems I, expanding on the breadth and depth of prior subject matter treatment, as well as their integrated application. Classes will again feature a combination of instruction from subject matter experts and a team design project.
This course will introduce students to the connection between innovative space engineering and the most significant scientific breakthroughs that have resulted from it. This course will first explore the early generation of engineering tools that were turned to the night sky due to curiosity, and the discoveries that were made. These tools fundamentally changed our understanding of what our place in the Universe was, and the exploration led to a new framework for how engineers and scientists partner together to advance space exploration. A long line of observatories, both on the ground and in space, followed and have brought the wonders of the cosmos to humanity. The latest marvel of engineering in this line of engineering tools, a tennis-court sized “eye” in space called the Webb Telescope, was just launched and has revealed the Universe to us in unimaginable ways. It took 20,000 engineers and scientists working over 20 years to enable this mission. The course will explore how these engineering marvels were motivated and built, how they are used, the challenges that were encountered along the way, and how we plan to move forward to chase down even bolder pursuits (e.g., a new generation of robotic engineering experiments to detect life on alien moons in the Solar System).This course is also being given during an era in which space exploration is one of the most exciting, fast-paced, and rapidly growing industries. The increased competition from hundreds of private companies that are entering space is resulting in incredible reductions in the cost to access to space, and has led to an explosion in the number of launches and space-based assets. Lessons in the course will challenge students to explore the modern capabilities of the space industry and how these innovations will power future scientific pursuits.
This course will introduce and explore design and verification methods for the space environment in general and radiation and plasma environments in particular. Intended as a practical complement to 675.751, Space Weather and Space Systems, this course will focus on mission requirements definition, design features, analyses and ground testing, state-of-the-art engineering models / tools, and national / international standards associated with the design and operation of modern high reliability space systems. Design and operational impacts will consider Total Ionizing Dose (TID), Total Non-Ionizing Dose (TNID), Single Event Effects (SEE), spacecraft charging, material outgassing, atomic oxygen, and Micrometeoroids / Orbital Debris (MMOD). All phases of a program lifecycle will be discussed – from environment definition through operational anomalies and anomaly attribution. Lectures, journal reading, and homework assignments will prepare engineers to quantify and assess risk as well as mitigate space environmental effects. A final project will consider a more detailed analysis of a system of interest to the student.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of EN.675.600 Systems Engineering for Space or with approval of the instructor.
This course will focus on the engineering of hardware systems that will reliably perform in the harsh environment of space. This course will cover design considerations, terrestrial based manufacturing, storage, launch, and on-orbit performance of successful hardware systems, as well as failure modes and mitigations for the design engineer, systems engineer or aerospace program manager. Design and manufacturing concerns covering electrical, electronic, and electromechanical components including part selection, materials considerations, radiation ratings and test, packaging, and manufacturing will be covered. The course will also cover the unique environments from terrestrial based to exo-atmospheric driving design and handling considerations relative to spacecraft hardware.
Our space systems are under attack. Cyberattacks are among the most prevalent threats to space assets. They are often stealthy, inexpensive and highly effective at achieving an adversary’s goal – be it data corruption, IP theft or physical destruction of the satellite. Given space systems are complex, composing ground stations, communications and satellites the surface area of attack is vast and considering the constrained computing capacity of space systems, many traditional security mechanisms are not applicable. This course provides an introduction to how an adversary would approach attacking a satellite, opportunities for systems engineers to develop cyber-resilient assets and relevant policies and best practices to support space system cybersecurity.
This course is designed to teach Mathematical Methods commonly employed for engineering Space Systems. The course will provide a solid technical foundation in mathematics so the students can apply this knowledge to this broad field. Topics will include select, applicable methods from vector calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, transform methods, complex variables, probability, statistics, and optimization. Various applications to real problems related to space systems and technical sub-disciplines will be used during the semester. No prior knowledge of advanced mathematics is assumed and important theorems and results from pure and applied mathematics are taught as needed during the course. Examples and relevant applications will be utilized throughout the course to further clarify the mathematical theory. Prerequisite(s): The course requires working knowledge of college calculus and algebra, or approval of the instructor.
The goal of this course is to engage the student with multiple design studies of subsystems of space-based electro-optic systems. The technical and scientific elements necessary to be successful with these studies will be presented during the lectures. The concepts and technologies behind elements such as photon detectors, imaging elements over many spectral bands, optical elements and systems typically used in space sensors, and active optical sources will be described. These concepts and technologies will be the fundamental elements used to describe the various sensor types and modalities used in space electro-optical systems. Prerequisite(s): An undergraduate or graduate degree in a quantitative discipline (e.g., engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics, or equivalent), or with approval of the instructor.
The ability to effectively apply knowledge and skills to new problems and situations is critical in the development of space systems. Building upon the foundational systems engineering and technical skills developed through prior coursework, this course will introduce further topics related to areas of active exploration and investigation, as well as practical details pertaining to mission formulation and assessment. Classes will be structured to include both information exchange led by subject matter experts from across the community and active group discourse. In addition, a number of topical case studies will be worked by students in both individual and group formats. Students will be asked to explore, in depth, various advanced areas of space systems engineering challenges and share information with each other in online discussions.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of EN.675.600 Systems Engineering for Space, EN.675.601 Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems I, and EN.675.602 Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems II, or with approval of the instructor.
Through online lectures and Blackboard mini cohorts, this course illustrates the fundamental applications of materials to spacecraft design for a systems engineering perspective. Topics include the environments of dynamics, vacuum, thermal, reactive chemicals, radiation, and electrostatics relating to material selection; applications in the material classes of metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites to spacecraft design; design considerations from preliminary design through product verification, launch, and mission operations; and considerations for environment impacts, commons issues encountered, and lessons learned. The course is not intended to cover materials analysis that is taught specific to individual engineering domains, rather it instructs the application of the materials to the space environment with specific industry examples.
The capstone course in the Space Systems Engineering Program will introduce practical methods and tools used for evaluating the design and implementation of space systems—with a particular focus on small satellites and CubeSats. This will be principally achieved through a significant experimentation laboratory component intended to reinforce analytical experience with empirical exposure and insight. The laboratory will build on prior foundational understanding of spacecraft subsystem design and performance, through a structured series of experiments and investigations to be conducted both individually and in small student teams. It will utilize tabletop satellite simulator kits that are especially designed for hands-on educational purposes, while drawing heavily on the analysis methods and tools developed in the Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems I/II sequence. All work is aimed at preparing for and executing a single long-residency-weekend exercise, nominally held during the final quarter, 10th or 11th week, of the semester at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. The lab component will have a mandatory set of core hours. The residency-lab will meet the Friday (5p-8p) and Saturday (8a-8p). Students are responsible for their own travel and accommodations, as required. Following residency weekend, there will be no scheduled classes, with only final laboratory deliverables and any remaining assignments, due per provided instructions.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of EN.675.600 Systems Engineering for Space, EN.675.601 Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems I, and EN.675.602 Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems II, or with approval of the instructor.
This course will focus on the critical functions performed by ground systems and mission operations throughout the space systems life-cycle and their integrated application. Course topics will include planning and sequencing, uplink and control, testing, real-time operations, communications, data management, data analysis, and assessment. Students will learn about end-to-end best practices that pertain to most missions and how ground systems and mission operations concepts are tailored across a diversity of missions. Examples will be presented from real space missions and programs, with assignments, special topics, and a team project focused on typical ground system engineering problems, mission operations challenges, and applied methods of technical problem resolution.
This course covers the creative and generative side of space mission engineering. Highly successful space science and exploration missions are the result of close collaboration between scientists who define the highest-level goals and the engineers who provide the means to make the measurements necessary to achieve those goals. In addition, mission formulation teams must understand the external strategic environment that supports a mission, specifically the government sponsors, their funding capabilities, how their priorities get set, and the cycles they go through. This course will help the student develop an understanding of that external environment, the process of collaboration between the scientists and the engineers and their sponsors, and how to frame mission goals and requirements in terms that lead to mission success. The instructors will provide insight into the formulation of scientific investigations, the process of crafting a compelling and accurate narrative for a mission proposal. Topics also include: derivation of mission requirements, launch vehicle capabilities and selection; mission architecture elements; and project flow from pre-proposal through mission confirmation.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of 675.600 Systems Engineering for Space and 675.601 Fundamentals of Engineering Space System, or with approval of the instructor.
This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of fault management engineering as it pertains to space systems. It describes how the fault management engineering viewpoint differs from that of systems engineers and engineering specialists, as well as the role that fault management plays throughout the mission design life cycle. Fault management is a systems engineering function that defines the functional requirements distributed throughout the spacecraft (hardware, software, and autonomy) and ground/mission operations that enable the detection, isolation, and recovery from events that upset nominal operations. Students will learn about the principles of fault management architecture (i.e., driving requirements, redundancy concept, safing and modes concept, ground intervention concept, and critical sequences) and how those principles inform the fault management design, the analytical techniques used for fault analysis, trade studies, and requirements allocation, and the role of the fault management engineer from the initiation of the project through design, integration and test, launch, and flight operation. Examples will be presented from real space missions and programs to emphasize the different implementations of fault management systems given the technical, cost, and schedule constraints.
This course will focus on the critical functions performed by ground systems throughout the space systems life-cycle. Course topics will include planning and sequencing, uplink and control, testing, communications, data management, data analysis, assessment, implementation and deployment of ground systems. Students will learn about end-to-end best practices that pertain to most missions and how ground systems concepts are tailored across a diversity of missions. Examples will be from real space missions and programs, with assignments, immersive hands-on laboratory exercises, special topics, and a team project focused on typical ground system engineering problems and applied methods of technical problem resolution. This course offers a more focused, in-depth exploration of ground systems design and implementation than EN.675.711 Ground System Engineering and Mission Operations. Students will only receive credit towards graduation from one of these 2 courses, EN.675.723 or EN.675.711, not both.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of EN.675.600 Systems Engineering for Space, EN.675.601 Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems I, familiarity with software engineering principles and writing software, or with approval of the Instructor.
The Thermal Control System (TCS) is an essential part of spacecraft design. The TCS must keep all spacecraft components within acceptable temperature limits during all mission phases in a hostile space environment, while managing the heat generated by those components. For engineers seeking to develop a working knowledge of spacecraft thermal design, this course will provide an overview of the key elements comprising thermal control systems and an analytic methodology for their investigation. Topics will include fundamentals on development of thermal requirements, orbital environments, heat transfer processes, TCS hardware, and thermal testing, as well as techniques for thermal analysis using Thermal Desktop software. In addition, a number of supplemental topics will be included to provide further breadth and exposure. This course builds on the foundational elements introduced in Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems II (675.602). Basic knowledge for the use of Thermal Desktop software is a firm prerequisite for this course, and temporary access to a license will be provided for this purpose before and during the course.
The intent of this class is to teach the basics of propulsion such that you will be able to make informed decisions about which sort of system would be best for a particular application. To do this, the class starts with a basic primer on the physics of propulsion and then covers key elements of the various types of propulsion systems that are typically used on spacecraft, including chemical and electric systems, and also some types of system not typically used now, but that might be available in the future (e.g., nuclear propulsion, matter/antimatter propulsion). In the class, you are introduced to how a propulsion subsystem is used and how it interacts with the rest of the spacecraft, so it can be seen from a system perspective and not just from the subsystem view. Key pros and cons of each type of system presented are discussed, as well as key constraints and failure modes. Subsystem components and performance characteristics are introduced and then used in examples from actual spacecraft to explain why these systems were selected for flight. Then, you are shown how to specify a propulsion subsystem and trade various subsystem types against each other, how to size them, how to integrate and test them, and ultimately how to fly them.
This course focuses on spacecraft hardware topics to include current and emerging technologies including hardware in system configurations such as constellations and for sensing and communication applications. The course is grounded in a hardware and software design understanding of materials and operations in the space environment (design rules, material and component considerations, safe life versus fail safe designs, environmental considerations, among other hardware guidelines). Specific topics in hardware addressed in these studies include Instruments and Detectors (Optical, Radio Frequency, Imagers…), Low Earth Orbit Commercial Constellations and Swarms, Geostationary (GEO) and GEO Transfer Comm and Remote Sensing, Flagship Missions, Cislunar, In Situ Resource Utilization, Landers and Samplers, Subsystem specifics, Hardware, Firmware and Software Interfaces and Launch vehicles.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of?EN.675.600?Systems Engineering for Space and?EN.675.601?Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems I, EN.675.622 Spacecraft Hardware Design Considerations or with approval of the instructor.
The objectives of this course are to develop the general principles governing spacecraft proximity operations, rendezvous, and docking, and analyze the challenges associated with their operational implementation. Students will be introduced to topics such as near and far range rendezvous, natural motion circumnavigation (NMC), autonomous rendezvous guidance, and relative navigation using GPS and relative motion sensors. Practical mission constraints, including passive safety, collision avoidance, and sun illumination will be discussed. Applications from emerging areas including on-orbit servicing, in-space manufacturing/assembly/refueling, formation flying, active debris removal, close inspection, and logistics resupply to a cislunar human habitat will also be studied. Students are expected to be comfortable in programming with Matlab, Python or similar simulation platforms, and must have been exposed to the mathematical topics of Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Calculus, and elementary Probability through prior coursework.
Technical managers, systems engineers, lead engineers, and mission assurance professionals will benefit from this course, which focuses on the leadership of system safety and mission assurance activities throughout the life cycle of a project to achieve mission success. This advanced course provides crucial lessons learned and proven best practices that technical managers need to know to be successful. The integrated application of mission assurance and systems engineering principles and techniques is presented in the context of aerospace programs and is also applicable to other advanced technology research and development programs. Students discuss critical risk-based decision making required from system concept definition and degree auditing through design, procurement, manufacturing, integration and test, launch, and mission operations. Experiences shared by senior aerospace leaders and extensive case studies of actual mishaps explore quality management topics relevant to aircraft, missiles, launch vehicles, satellites, and space vehicles. The course addresses contemporary leadership themes, government policies, and aerospace industry trends in mission assurance requirements, organizational structure, knowledge sharing and communication, independent review, audit, and assessment. Mission assurance disciplines covered include risk management, system safety, reliability engineering, software assurance, supply chain management, parts and materials, configuration management, requirements verification and validation, non-conformance, and anomaly tracking and trending.
This course will cover the fundamentals and applications of free space optical (FSO) communications systems as well as laser radar (LIDAR). FSO is rapidly becoming the communications method of choice for satellite cross links and for very high data rate downlinks. LIDAR has an extensive heritage in space applications for remote sensing as well as for applications such as precision range determination. This course will cover the multiple common enabling technologies shared by FSO and LIDAR, describe the concepts and theories behind these technologies, discuss the integration of these technologies into systems, and analyze current deployed as well as planned systems to help understand how FSO and LIDAR are implemented and used.This course will leverage Calculus as well as basic probability concepts to implement the physical models used to describe FSO and LIDAR systems and applications.
This course will explore the space environment in the context of its impact on space system operations. Topics include the impacts of ionospheric variability on HF propagation, satellite communications, and GPS; impacts of energetic charged particles on spacecraft; impacts of auroral precipitation on radar and communication systems; and impacts of varying geomagnetic activity on power grids and space situational awareness. Lectures and homework assignments will prepare engineers to quantify and mitigate space weather impacts, and a final project will consist of a detailed analysis on a system of interest to the student. Prerequisite(s): An undergraduate or graduate degree in a quantitative discipline (e.g., engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics, or equivalent), or with approval of the instructor.
The Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem, or ADCS, is intimately connected with all the other spacecraft subsystems, and will be studied in the context of the systems engineering of the whole spacecraft and its mission. Students will examine the requirements imposed on the ADCS, and will explore how to meet those requirements. To this end, it starts with a student’s understanding of rigid-body dynamics as it relates to spacecraft dynamics and will introduce common and classical approaches to problems encountered in the design of this critical spacecraft subsystem. The course will also include a team design project involving an ADCS for a small spacecraft.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of EN.675.600 Systems Engineering for Space, EN.675.601 Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems I and EN.675.650 Mathematics for Space or with approval of the instructor.
This survey course will focus on the management, engineering development and operation of the spacecraft Avionics system consisting of hardware topics covering Spacecraft Processing; Command Data Handling and Command Execution; Telemetry Acquisition, Conditioning and Conversion and Telemetry Data Handling; Bulk data storage; Fault Management Support; and Timekeeping Support. The course is grounded in computer and data architecture fundamentals with focus on key electronics such as data interfaces, spacecraft processors, volatile and non-volatile memories, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA), and analog sensors and circuits. Spacecraft Avionics systems topics will be applied through reference design scenarios to illustrate requirements/implementation trades bound by the constraints of the space environment and spacecraft data resource limitations. Topics such as hardware development, integration and test and inflight support will be used to illustrate the difficulties inherent to the spacecraft’s Avionics system.
This survey course reviews the architectures, designs, and implementations of spacecraft flight software systems. The course provides an overview of typical command and data handling software functions and the open-source tools, frameworks, and applications that can implement them. A semester-long programming assignment is provided to build a working flight software system. Special topics include application to resource-constrained Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, spacecraft security, and space-based networking. Flight software encompasses the complete set of computer instructions running on every processor on a spacecraft.
This course presents an engineering approach to the design of antennas for space systems. Students will examine antennas for both large and small space based platforms in earth orbit and beyond. Antenna design is presented in the context of the space environment with particular attention to the flight design and testing cycle, thermal and mechanical considerations, space compatible materials, and high power operation. A primary focus of the course will be single, dual and shaped reflector designs including feed network topologies. Several horn antenna designs including corrugated and multimode horns will be covered as well as feed network components. A variety of other antennas including helices, patches, and arrays will be discussed for applications including: Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS); Tracking, Telemetry and Command (TT&C); isoflux; smallsat and cubesat antennas. Prerequisite(s): An undergraduate- or graduate-level introductory antenna systems course, or with approval of the instructor. Course Note(s): This course is cross-listed with 525.656 Antenna Design for Space Systems. SSE students can only register for 675.756.
This course covers the principal methods of reliability analysis as it pertains to space systems. These seek to help development teams to anticipate and find design and operational issues. Basic analytical techniques covered include fault tree and reliability block diagrams; Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA); event tree construction and evaluation; and reliability data collection and analysis. More advanced techniques of risk and reliability modeling of systems include Bayesian methods and applications, estimation of rare event frequencies, uncertainty analysis and propagation methods. These methods and techniques are integrated into quantitative assessments to address hardware, software, and human reliabilities, as well as their dependencies.
The Moon has been a focus for exploration since the early days of the space age. Recent updates to US space priorities have brought new focus to the Moon and cislunar space, along with plans to return humans to the Moon, establish crewed lunar outposts, and advance economic development in the cislunar regime. This course covers the fundamentals of space systems engineering as applied to lunar and cislunar missions. Topics include the science, exploration, economic, and security drivers of cislunar missions and implications for mission requirements; unique aspects of the lunar and cislunar environment and associated considerations for engineering spacecraft and payloads; cislunar astrodynamics and applications to cislunar mission design; case studies of current and future cislunar missions; and technology to enable future cislunar endeavors.
This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of developing Integration & Test (I&T) programs for space systems. Topics covered will provide a detailed understanding with practical applications of all phases of Spacecraft I&T starting with the design input/planning phase, staffing/budget phase, subsystem and instrument integration phase, environmental testing phase, and finally the launch campaign phase in the field. Classes will be structured to provide students information exchange sessions with subject matter experts and actual practitioners within the I&T community. Students will learn about all of the Electrical and Mechanical ground support equipment needed to build a spacecraft and the importance of the paperwork and processes used throughout all phases to manage spacecraft systems I&T.
Critical to the development of space missions is the careful analysis and design of the desired path of the space vehicle (mission design) and the determination of the space vehicle’s actual state vector (navigation). This course presents these two topics in an integrated manner, intended to provide space engineering professionals with a technical understanding of these complex subjects. Mission Design topics include kinematics, Kepler’s Laws, Newton’s Law of gravitation, modeling of several fidelity levels of spacecraft trajectory dynamics, and optimization of objective functions and satisfaction of constraints. Navigation topics include dynamics and measurement model formulations, standard estimation algorithms such as the Kalman filter and batch estimators, and performance analysis. This course will focus on the theory from a mathematical derivation perspective, example problems, and practical implementation considerations. This is an algorithm intensive course and students are expected to be comfortable with the following: MATLAB programming (or equivalent), Linear Algebra, Linear Systems, Differential Equations, basic Probability concepts, and Calculus.
Prerequisite(s): Completion of EN.675.600 Systems Engineering for Space; EN.675.601 Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems I and EN.675.650 Mathematics for Space or with approval of the instructor.
A survey course that reviews the specification, verification and validation of spacecraft flight system requirements. The course provides an overview of the requirements gathering process, subsystem allocation, verification methods, typical spacecraft system tests and test events. An overview of the construction of spacecraft comprehensive performance tests and mission scenarios will be part of this course, as well as the development of a requirements verification matrix.
In this course, qualified students are permitted to investigate possible research fields or to pursue problems of interest through reading or non-laboratory study under the direction of faculty members. Prerequisite(s): The Independent Study/Project Form (ep.jhu. edu/student-forms) must be completed and approved prior to registration. Course Note(s): This course is open only to candidates in the Master of Science in the Space Systems Engineering program.