LAUNCH VEHICLES & PROPULSION - 2021/2
Module code: EEEM012
Expected prior learning: None specifically advised.
Module purpose: This is a key module for students interested in becoming space systems engineers, or in working in a related field. It introduces the student to the key principles and techniques of launch vehicles and propulsion, and is delivered by a lecturer with more than 15 years practical experience of designing and building spacecraft systems, propulsion systems and rocket systems. Through a series of lectures, exercises and coursework, the module aims to give an understanding on the fundamentals of Launch Vehicle design and propulsion techniques for spacecraft travel.
Computer Science and Electronic Eng
LUCCA FABRIS Andrea (Elec Elec En)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 7
JACs code: H420
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Overall student workload
Independent Learning Hours: 107
Lecture Hours: 13
Tutorial Hours: 10
Captured Content: 20
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
Indicative content includes the following.
Rocket staging and launch scenarios. Review of launch vehicles and their engines – Saturn V and the F-1 and J-2 engines, Delta rockets and the RS-27 liquid engines, Atlas launchers, Space Shuttle and SSME. Drive to reduce launch costs: reusable vehicles, SSTO, suborbital demonstrators, the aerospace plane.
Principles of Space Propulsion
Basic fluid equations – conservation laws, thermodynamics and specific heats. Steady 1-D flows in nozzles – entropy and shock fronts. Boundary layers and heat flow. Laminar and turbulent regimes.
Performance of Rocket engines
The rocket equation, Isp, propulsion system trade-offs. Chemical rocket thrust chambers and nozzles. Solid rocket fundamentals – burn rates, grain size, hazards. Hybrid engines – pancakes. Electric propulsion – ion thrusters, Hall effect.
Non standard propulsion
Solar Sails, tethers, ion thrusters, nuclear, solar thermal propulsion.
Launch windows and orbit insertion. Guidance laws for thrust vector control, angle of attack. Stability.
Steep ballistic re-entry, ballistic orbital re-entry, skip re-entry, double dip re-entry, aero-braking, lifting body re-entry.
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Examination Online||ONLINE (OPEN BOOK) EXAM WITHIN 24HR WINDOW||100|
Not applicable: students failing a unit of assessment resit the assessment in its original format.
The assessment strategy for this module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the learning outcomes. The written examination will assess the knowledge and assimilation of terminology, concepts and theory of spacecraft systems, as well as the ability to analyse and find solutions to problems of the mechanical and electrical design of spacecraft systems.
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
· 2-hour, closed-book written examination.
Formative assessment and feedback
For the module, students will receive formative assessment/feedback in the following ways.
· During lectures, by question and answer sessions
· During tutorials/tutorial classes
· By means of unassessed tutorial problem sheets (with answers/model solutions)
- To develop an understanding of the issues of launching a satellite from the surface of a planet, and the guidance and control techniques and the principles of spacecraft propulsion.
- Give the student an introduction to the design and construction launch vehicles and propulsion systems.
- The module forms a core part of the MSc programme in Space Technology and Planetary Exploration and, for the undergraduate MEng programme..
- Students who complete this module, along with the other core modules in the Space Technology and Planetary Engineering or Electronic Engineering with Space Systems pathways, should have gained sufficient background knowledge to begin a career in space engineering, and will find the material invaluable in their early career development, as they work on real space missions.
|1||Have a well-developed understanding of the physics of passage through an atmosphere, lift and drag forces, angle of attack with an introduction to re-entry.||KC|
|2||Understand the reasons for rocket staging and review latest technologies.||KC|
|3||Build an understanding of the principles of spacecraft propulsion – fluid dynamics, performance prediction, energy storage, design drivers||KCP|
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 following aims.
- Develop understanding of the principles and techniques involved in the design of launch vehicles and propulsion techniques
- Develop knowledge and understanding of the physical and mathematical principles underpinning the design and engineering of launch vehicles and propulsion systems and to have a grasp of the development and future possibilities of the topic;
- Develop the ability to select appropriate technical solutions for launch vehicles and propulsion systems for a variety of space mission scenarios.
Learning and teaching methods include the following.
- 3 hour lecture/tutorial per week – 11 weeks (33 hours)
- Guided study of example problems/ past examinations – 20 hours
- Independent study – 97 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: EEEM012
Programmes this module appears in
|Aerospace Engineering MEng||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|
|Space 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.