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 operation 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.
An undergraduate degree in science or engineering, or permission from the student’s academic advisor and the course instructor.