A Hands-on Concurrent Space Systems Engineering Workshop

This completely hands-on on-site or virtual workshop provides a unique opportunity to design a real-world space mission from scratch.  Course participants are given a set of mission objectives in the form of a Request for Proposal (RFP) or Announcement of Opportunity (AO) and divided into competing groups to conceptually design a viable mission that meets the customer expectations at an acceptable lifecycle cost.  The groups are guided through a structured space system engineering approach to define a mission concept and supporting space mission architecture, and complete a detailed analysis.  Participants are given a comprehensive mission design and analysis tool along with a full copy of the Satellite Tool Kit software to analyze trade-offs and complete their design.  A minimum of in-class lecture provides “just-in-time” learning and concrete examples to keep participants on track.  The product of the design exercise is a 30 minute Mission Concept Review presentation where the participants are given the opportunity to outline and defend their design decisions.  The Space Mission Design Exercise serves as a concrete and practical means to apply and test space system engineering techniques in a non-threatening, real-life environment.
[Three to five day course].

Course Objectives:

At the end of this course you will have the knowledge, tools and experience to turn customer expectations in the form of an RFP or AO into a fully-defined mission concept, or critically analyze proposed mission concepts with insight into the critical trade-offs between cost, schedule, performance and risk.

Learning Outcomes:

Through this course, you will…

  • Cultivate a better understanding of the overall space mission design process
    • Technical processes, tools and information available
    • Interpersonal skills and distributed collaborative efforts
  • Exercise space system engineering processes
  • Enhance space system engineering skills
    • System engineering management
    • Technical integrity
    • Technical leadership
  • Integrate all elements of a successful mission
  • Establish a process to refine requirements
  • Define parameters to meet mission objectives at acceptable cost and risk
  • Practical application of the information and processes in a non-threatening environment
  • Promote system-level thinking by all participants

Example Course Exercise Problems:

  • Commercial Remote Sensing Mission
  • Tsunami Detection and Tracking Mission
  • Mars Mapping Mission
  • Mars “Deep Impact” Mission

Who Should Attend:

Systems engineers, payload principle investigators, subsystem engineers or project managers who are responsible for the detailed design and operation of space systems. Intact teams preparing to develop or respond to a existing RFP or AO.  Past participants from Designing Space Missions & Systems, Human Spaceflight or Understanding Space courses are ideal!

Course Materials:

Each participant will receive…

  • A copy of the course text SMAD Core: Core Capabilities for Space Mission Analysis & Design
  • A complete set of course notes with copies of all slides used in the presentations
  • TSTI Alumni status allowing on-line access to course materials, including tools and videos through the Alumni Lounge
  • Space Mission Analysis & Design Worksheet (Comprehensive Excel Spreadsheet)
  • A fully licensed copy of Satellite Tool Kit software by AGI, licensed for the duration of the course


“Excellent spacecraft design course. Relevant for NASA Moon & Mars exploration plans” –NASA/JSC Engineer

“Take it! –NASA/JSC Engineer

“My expectation were exceeded.  The instructor helped me learn many new things.  The class participants were excellent as well. The structure allowed us to creatively work and learn as a team”– NASA/ARC Scientist

“Good combination of lecture and interactive portion.  I liked the fact the instructor did not give us too many “hints” during the exercise—he let us figure it out ourselves, just like the real-world.”—Advetech Pacific Engineer

Interested in this course?

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