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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MECH5900M Spacecraft Dynamics and Control

15 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Dr Jongrae Kim

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

Undergraduate degree in Physical or Engineering Sciences

Programming such as MATLAB

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module covers spacecraft control system design & analysis. Students will learn the mathematical modelling approach for spacecraft control systems and their computational implementation using MATLAB. It is not required to have a priori experience in MATLAB but basic undergraduate level programming skill is required.


This module aims to provide a solid understanding of the development and analysis of spacecraft dynamics & control systems. On successful completion of the module students will be able to implement a simple dynamic model of a spacecraft.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes :
1. Spacecraft system modelling using ordinary differential equations
2. Dynamic model implementation using MATLAB

Upon successful completion of this module the following Engineering Council Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP) learning outcome descriptors (fourth edition) are satisfied:
3. Formulate and analyse complex problems to reach substantiated conclusions. This will involve evaluating available data using first principles of mathematics, statistics, natural science and engineering principles, and using engineering judgment to work with information that may be uncertain or incomplete, discussing the limitations of the techniques employed. (M2)
4. Select and apply appropriate computational and analytical techniques to model complex problems, discussing the limitations of the techniques employed. (M3)
5. Select and critically evaluate technical literature and other sources of information to solve complex problems. (M4)
6. Communicate effectively on complex engineering matters with technical and non-technical audiences, evaluating the effectiveness of the methods used. (M17)

Skills Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills:

Problem solving & analytical skills, Critical thinking, Programming


1. Space Missions
2. Orbital Design & Manoeuvre
3. Attitude Control System Design
4. Spacecraft Actuators & Sensors
5. Optimal design & Robustness Analysis

Methods of Assessment

We are currently refreshing our modules to make sure students have the best possible experience. Full assessment details for this module are not available before the start of the academic year, at which time details of the assessment(s) will be provided.

Assessment for this module will consist of;

1 x Coursework
1 x Exam

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours117.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

quiz during the lectures, and formative feedback on programming exercise during the practical sessions

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024


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