Department of Astronautics Courses


Astro Engr 201.  Technology Skills for Astronautics.  1(1).  A self-paced course designed to provide the programming, modeling, and simulation skills required in the various courses in the Astro Engr major.  Students will be introduced to the MatLab/Simulink tools for programming, modeling, and simulation and to state-of-the-art 3-D computer tools for satellite analysis and visualization.  A series of proficiency tasks using the various tools must be completed over the course of the semester.  Prereq:  Comp Sci 110.  Coreq:  Astro Engr 310.  Sem hrs:  1 fall or spring.  Pass/fail.

Astro Engr 310.  Introduction to Astronautics.  3(1).  Introduction to the history, principles, and challenges of space.  Elements of space missions are examined including orbits, spacecraft systems, launch vehicles, re-entry, operations, and mission management.  Emphasis is placed on understanding the underlying physical principles and the system engineering process used to select orbits, plan maneuvers, and accomplish preliminary design of spacecraft payloads/subsystems to meet mission requirements.  Concepts are reinforced through hands-on use of application-based analysis and visualization software and communication of these learned principles through written reports.  Final exam.  Prereq:  Math 142, Engr 101, and Physics 110.  Sem hrs:  3 fall or spring

Astro Engr 310V.  Introduction to Astronautics.  The Department of Astronautics offers limited enrollment in AstroEngr 310V, an accelerated, instructor-assisted, self-study version of its core course, Astro Engr 310 - Introduction to Astronautics.  This course is intended to help high-achieving cadets prepare for a final exam after 10 lessons.  The final exam will be normal length and arranged via SCA at a time TBD on or near lesson 11.  If the cadet scores over 70% on the final exam and over 50% on all major subject portions of the final exam, he/she will receive validation credit for AstroEngr 310.  Cadets who don't meet the validation requirement will be moved into a traditional (semester-long) section of Astro Engr 310.  Advisors with cadets who may be interested in taking this accelerated course should submit an APS for review and approval by DFAS by lesson 20 of the preceding semester.  Prereq:  DFAS approval.  Direct any questions to the DFAS AIC or Deputy Head.  Fall or Spring.

Astro Engr 321.  Intermediate Astrodynamics.  3(1).  An intermediate course in orbit mechanics.  Topics include orbit determination and prediction, orbit maneuvers, perturbations, rendezvous and proximity operations.  Emphasis is on the design and use of structured computer programs to solve real-world astrodynamics problems.  Programming experience is recommended.  Final exam.  Prereq:  Astro Engr 201 or Comp Sci 211; Astro Engr 310; completed or enrolled in Engr Mech 320 or Physics 355.  Sem hrs:  3 fall or spring.

Astro Engr 331.  Space Systems Engineering.  3(2).  Fundamentals of space vehicle design are presented with an emphasis on systems engineering.  Introduction to system-level spacecraft design issues are covered including reliability, environments, radiation effects, testing, materials engineering, integration, launch vehicles, and operations.  Introduction to and analyses of payloads, structures, propulsion, electrical power, communications and data handling, attitude determination and control, and thermal control subsystems are also covered.  The course includes an integrated lab experience where small teams analyze and integrate subsystems into a functioning small satellite called “EyasSat.”  Each team demonstrates and documents their EyasSat at the system level as a part of the final evaluation.  Final report or final exam.  Prereq:  Astro Engr 310; Chem 110 or Chem 200; and Physics 215 (or DFAS department head approval.)  Sem hrs:  3 fall or spring.

Astro Engr 351.  Rocket Propulsion.  3(1).  Introduction to rocket propulsion and propulsion system design.  The basic laws of thermodynamics, thermochemistry, and conservation are used to determine ideal motor performance.  Emphasis is placed on describing the components and conceptual design criteria for liquid, solid, and hybrid rockets.  Electric, nuclear, and other advanced propulsions systems are also studied.  Final exam or final project.  Prereq:  Astro Engr 310 and Aero Engr 241.  Sem hrs:  3 fall or spring.

Astro Engr 422.  Advanced Astrodynamics.  3(1).  A continuation of Astro Engr 321.  The course focuses on applying numerical and analytical techniques to solve realistic Air Force problems in astrodynamics and space operations.  Perturbations and the associated effects on satellite orbits are examined.  Least Squares and Kalman filter estimation techniques are applied to the orbital prediction problem using batch and sequential processing.  Structured computer programming is used extensively in problem solutions.  Final exam.  Prereq:  Astro Engr 321.  Sem hrs:  3 spring.

Astro Engr 423.  Space Mission Design.  3(1).  Basic mission design principles for Air Force and civilian launch systems are examined.  Mission objectives and constraints; feasibility studies; time-line generation; launch, on-orbit, and recovery operations; and contingency planning are studied.  Structured computer programming is applied to analyze typical space missions.  Final project.  Prereq:  Astro Engr 321.  Sem hrs:  3 fall.

Astro Engr 436.  Small Spacecraft Engineering I.  4(2).  An introduction to small spacecraft systems engineering.  Multi-disciplinary system design of spacecraft hardware and software to include subsystems, propulsion systems, attitude determination and control systems, electrical power systems, structures, payloads, and ground stations.  Define mission and system requirements, perform engineering trade studies, design and analyze spacecraft systems, and build and test flight hardware.  Course also includes opportunities to operate on-orbit small satellites.  Final project or report.  Coreq:  Astro Engr 310. Prereq:  C1C standing and departmental approval.  Sem hrs:  4 fall.

Astro Engr 437.  Small Spacecraft Engineering II.  4(2).  A second course in small spacecraft systems engineering.  Multi-disciplinary system design of spacecraft hardware and software to include subsystems, propulsion systems, attitude determination and control systems, electrical power systems, structures, payloads, and ground stations.   Finalize design, fabricate, test, and fly actual spacecraft as a rideshare on a space launch vehicle.  Course also includes opportunities to operate on-orbit small satellites.  Final project or report.  Prereq:  C1C standing, Astro Engr 436, and departmental approval.  Sem hrs:  4 spring.

Astro Engr 445.  Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics and Control.  3(1).  Fundamental introduction to the problem of controlling satellite attitude.  Topics include direction cosine and Euler angle attitude parameters, torque-free rigid body motion, spin stabilization, gravity-gradient stabilization, momentum and reaction wheel control, and reaction jet control.  Projects include the development of a satellite attitude dynamics simulation and the design of a reaction wheel and reaction jet attitude control system.  Final project or final exam.  Prereq:  Engr Mech 320 or Physics 355; completed or enrolled in Engr 342.  Includes analysis and synthesis with MATLABä simulation.  Sem hrs:  3 fall or spring.

Astro Engr 495.  Special Topics. 1-3(1).  Selected topics in astronautics.  Final exam or final report. Prereq:  Department approval.  Sem hrs and offering time determined by department (not more than 3 sem hrs).

Astro Engr 499.  Independent Study.  3(0).  Individual study and research supervised by a faculty member.  Topic established with the department head.  Final report.  Prereq:  Department approval.  Sem hrs:  3 fall or spring.

  • Astro Engr 499A.  Independent Study.  2(0).  Sem hrs:  2 fall or spring.
  • Astro Engr 499B.  Independent Study.  1.5(0).  Sem hrs:  1.5 fall or spring.
  • Astro Engr 499C.  Independent Study.  1(0).  Sem hrs:  1 fall or spring.

Astro Engr 543.  Methods of Optimization for Engineers.  3(1).  Course in optimization methods taught at graduate level.  Topics include parameter optimization, optimization for dynamic systems, optimal control and numerical solutions.  Final exam.  Prereq:  Math 346, Math 356 and Engr 342 or either ECE 333 or Mech Engr 325 with Course Director approval.  Computer projects require programming proficiency.  Sem hrs:  3 spring.

Engr 341. Linear Systems Analysis and Design.  3(1).  Analysis and design of linear systems. Includes modeling of electrical and mechanical systems; characterization of physical systems using linear, constant-coefficient differential equations and state-space models; Convolution using Laplace transform techniques; identification of system response using frequency response and Bode plots; specification of design criteria in the s-domain; and modification of system parameters to satisfy design requirements.  MATLABä and SimulinkTM are introduced as simulation tools and as a computer interface for analysis and design.  Lab.  Final exam.  Prereq:  Math 245 and ECE 231.  (Administered by the Department of Astronautics).  Sem hrs:  3 fall.

Engr 342.  Linear Control System Analysis and Design.  3(2).  Formulation and analysis of the linear control problem by transform methods. Synthesis of linear control systems emphasizing the root locus and Bode methods. Includes laboratory analysis and synthesis with real hardware and/or MATLAB™ and Simulink™ simulation. Final project. Prereq: Engr 341 or Mech Engr 325 or ECE 332 or department approval. (Administered by Department of Astronautics).  Sem hrs:  3 spring.

Engr 443.  Advanced Control Theory and Design.  3(1).  Introduction to advanced control techniques.  Topics include state-space fundamentals, state feedback control, optimal control methods, estimation theory, and non-linear controls topics.  Methods are applied to the design of control systems for aircraft and spacecraft.  MatLabTM/SimulinkTM will be employed in three design projects.  Final exam.  Prereq:  Math 346, Math 356 (or Math 377), and Engr 342 (or ECE 333 or Mech Engr 325 or Aero Engr 457).  (Administered by Department of Astronautics).  Sem hrs:  3 fall.


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This page last updated on 06/23/2015

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