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 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 the 10th week of the semester at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. In lieu of meeting during normal class time during the 10th week, the lab will meet the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday immediately following the normal class date. The lab component will have a mandatory set of core hours during a time period running from Friday at 5 p.m. through Sunday at 12 p.m.; students are responsible for their own travel and accommodations, as required. An optional tour of APL space facilities is planned for 4 p.m. on Friday. There will be no further classes following the residency weekend, with only final laboratory deliverables due per provided instructions.
Completion of 675.600 Systems Engineering for Space, 675.601 Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems I and 675.602 Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems II is required.