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Spacecraft Systems 7.5 credits

Rymdfarkostens system
Second cycle, R7028R
Course syllabus valid: Autumn 2021 Sp 1 - Present
The version indicates the term and period for which this course syllabus is valid. The most recent version of the course syllabus is shown first.

Education level
Second cycle
Grade scale
G U 3 4 5
Space Engineering
Subject group (SCB)
Space Technology
Main field of study
Space Technology

Entry requirements

The applicant shall have competence equivalent to the degree from a basic engineering program or a Bachelor´s degree with a minimum of 180 credits in the areas of space technology, aerospace, aeronautics, mechatronics, space physics, physics, electronics, mechanics, computer science or equivalent. Previous course work at university level must include electronics or mechanics, and a minimum of 22.5 credits in mathematics at university level is required. Documented skills in English language.

More information about English language requirements


The selection is based on 20-285 credits

Course Aim
The goal of the course is to provide basic knowledge of the fundamental systems of a spacecraft bus - its relationswitheachother,itsinterdependencies,anditsinfluencesontheoverallspacecraftdesign.
After the successful completion of the course, the student shall be able to:
  • Show a common understanding of all spacecraft systems
  • Perform a baseline design of a spacecraft
  • Demonstrate the ability to define all elements of the ground, launch and space segment of a mission and their relations
  • Show the understanding of principle steps of a mission design process       

  • Space mission design and project phases
  • Space systems architecture: ground, launch and space segments.
  • Main categories of space missions (Earth observation, telecommunication, navigation, science and exploration) and their main requirements.
  • Orbit geometry: orbit parameters, types of orbits, coverage, visibility, ground track.
  • Payload selection and sizing.
  • Spacecraft requirements supporting the payload.
  • Spacecraft bus systems: power system, thermal control system, attitude control system, orbit control systems, command and on-board data handling, communication, structure and mechanisms.
  • Budgets and estimates: Mass, power, communication link, and more.
  • Launch system interface, qualification, and ground testing.
  • Space systems development and management methodologies.       

Each course occasion´s language and form is stated and appear on the course page on Luleå University of Technology's website.

     Lectures, homework assignments, and tutorials.    

If there is a decision on special educational support, in accordance with the Guideline Student's rights and obligations at Luleå University of Technology, an adapted or alternative form of examination can be provided.

Examination is done via homework assignments and written examination. In order to pass the course it is required that all compulsory moments are completed satisfactory. The final grade given for the course reflects the results obtained during the course compulsory moments.     

René Laufer

Literature. Valid from Autumn 2019 Sp 1 (May change until 10 weeks before course start)
Wertz, J.R., Everett, D.F., Puschell, J.J., “Space Mission Engineering: The New SMAD”, Microcosm Press, 2011.
ISBN 978-1-881-883-15-9 (pb)
ISBN 978-1-881-883-16-6 (hb)

MacDonald, M., Badescu, V., The International Handbook of Space Technology, Springer Praxis Books, 2014.
ISBN: 978-3-642-41101-4 (eBook) , available in ltu library

Peter Fortescue, Graham Swinerd, John Stark, Spacecraft Systems Engineering, 4th edition, Wiley, 2011
ISBN 978-0-470-75012-4
ISBN 978-1-119-97100-9 (eBook), available in the library

Course offered by
Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering

CodeDescriptionGrade scaleCrStatusFrom periodTitle
0003Assignment reportG U 3 4 53.50MandatoryA21
0004Written examG U 3 4 54.00MandatoryA21

Study guidance
Study guidance for the course is to be found in our learning platform Canvas before the course starts. Students applying for single subject courses get more information in the Welcome letter. You will find the learning platform via My LTU.

Syllabus established
by Jonny Johansson, HUL SRT 15 Feb 2019

Last revised
by Jonny Johansson, HUL SRT 16 Jun 2021