MAE 4060

MAE 4060

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2017-2018.

Introduction to spacecraft orbit mechanics, attitude dynamics, and the design and implementation of spaceflight maneuvers for satellites, probes, and rockets. Topics in celestial mechanics include orbital elements, types & uses of orbits, coordinate systems, Kepler's equation, the restricted three-body problem, interplanetary trajectories, the rocket equation and staging, Clohessy-Wiltshire equations and relative formation flight, drag and orbital decay, and propulsive maneuvers. Topics in attitude dynamics include kinematics, Euler's equations, stability of spinning spacecraft, attitude perturbations such as gravity-gradient and magnetic torques, equations of motion of rigid spacecraft with momentum actuators and thrusters, attitude maneuvers such as nutation control and reorientation, low-speed fluid behaviors, and elementary feedback control of linearized attitude and orbit dynamics. Principles of spacecraft propulsion technology and attitude-control technology are introduced. Discussions of current problems and trends in spacecraft operation and development.

When Offered Fall.

Prerequisites/Corequisites Prerequisite: MATH 2930, MATH 2940, and MAE 2030, or permission of instructor.

  • Students will understand the fundamentals of spaceflight mechanics and how high-level mission requirements drive the design of orbits and attitude for contemporary spacecraft.
  • Understand the application of Kepler's laws for orbital motion, how to propagate an orbit, and calculate parameters associated with mission operations, including launch, insertion, and interplanetary transfers.
  • Understand the application of Euler's equations for rigid-body motion to spacecraft dynamics, attitude representations, attitude kinematics, how to predict and model spacecraft attitude motions, and how to achieve desirable attitude-dynamics behaviors.
  • Be able to simulate a spacecraft in orbit using state of the art tools and identify and characterize the astrodynamics capabilities of a preliminary spacecraft design.

View Enrollment Information

  •   Regular Academic Session. 

  • 3 Credits Graded

  • 12790 MAE 4060   LEC 001

  • MAE 2030 is an explicit prerequisite and will be strictly enforced.