Module code: EEEM009

Module Overview

Expected prior learning:  EEE3039 SPACE DYNAMICS AND MISSIONS and EEE3040 SPACE SYSTEM DESIGN, or equivalent learning, which should include a knowledge of basic control theory.

Module purpose:  This module provides advanced understanding of the dynamics of satellites and of methods for controlling satellite motion.

Module provider

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

LUCCA FABRIS Andrea (Elec Elec En)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: H643

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Independent Learning Hours: 107

Lecture Hours: 13

Tutorial Hours: 10

Captured Content: 20

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None.

Module content

Indicative content includes the following.

• Essential elements of control theory.

• Overview of Satellite orbits. Review of Keplerian orbits and the most useful orbits for Earth orbiting satellites. Brief introduction to time and coordinate frames and the complexities of their definition.

• Perturbation effects in real orbits. Mean and osculating elements, the disturbing function and Lagrange’s equations. Long and short periodic variations and secular evolution. Atmospheric drag modelling. Effects of Solar radiation pressure.

• Orbit determination and Estimation. Data for orbit estimation and determination, GPS, Radar tracking, Least Squares method, Weighted Least Squares Methods, Batch Least Squares method, The Extended Kalman filter.

• Rendezvous in space: Continuous thrust manoeuvres, Hill’s formulation and relative motion control, Epicycle description – inclusion of perturbing influences. Orbit control.

• Attitude dynamics. Euler and kinematic equations. Quaternions and the evolution equations. Control moment gyroscopes.

• Attitude determination and estimation: attitude sensors. Estimation methods: triad method and Quest algorithms, the Extended Kalman Filter.

• Attitude control. Attitude actuators: momentum/reaction wheels, control moment gyroscopes, thrusters, magnetotorques. Design of control loops. Lead-lag compensators. Multivariable design.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK (MATLAB) 20
Examination Online ONLINE (OPEN BOOK) EXAM WITHIN 24HR WINDOW 80

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable: students failing a unit of assessment resit the assessment in its original format.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy for this module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the following.  The written examination will assess the knowledge and assimilation of real satellite orbits and how to model them, evaluation of real world algorithms used for attitude and orbit control, and the limitations of sensors and actuators used on modern satellites.  The practical software-tool-based theoretical assignment will assess how the student can apply these models to representative cases such as rendezvous in space and the use of GPS in satellite navigation.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of the following.

·         2-hour, closed-book written examination

·         Software-tool-based theoretical assignment (15 to 20 pages) due Tuesday Week 10.

Any deadline given here is indicative. For confirmation of exact date and time, please check the Departmental assessment calendar issued to you.

Formative assessment and feedback

For the module, students will receive formative assessment/feedback in the following ways.

·         During lectures, by question and answer sessions.

·         Via the marking of written reports.

Module aims

• To develop an understanding of the complexities of real satellite dynamics, and of practical methods to determine and control spacecraft motions.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Describe real satellite orbits and how to model them.   K
2 Apply these models to representative cases such as rendezvous in space and the use of GPS in satellite navigation. P
3 Evaluate real world algorithms used for attitude and orbit control. C
4 Explain the limitations of sensors and actuators used on modern satellites.   K

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to achieve the aims that students should

• Develop an understanding of real satellite orbits and the factors that influence (perturb) these orbits.

• Develop an understanding of real satellite attitude dynamics.

• Apply and evaluate practical methods in order to control satellite orbits.

• Apply and evaluate practical methods in order to control satellite attitude dynamics.

Learning and teaching methods include the following.

• 3-hour lecture per week x 11 weeks

• Practical problem based assignment – 57 hours

• Independent study and preparation for final exam – 60 hours

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: EEEM009

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Space Engineering MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Electronic Engineering MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Electronic Engineering with Space Systems MEng 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Electronic Engineering MEng 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Electronic Engineering with Professional Postgraduate Year MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Electrical and Electronic Engineering MEng 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Satellite Communications Engineering MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.