In Winter quarter of 2019, I had the privilege of taking Intro to Space Vehicles (EAE 198) with Professor Stephen K. Robinson, a former NASA astronaut. Topics included systems engineering principles, an overview of various spacecraft subsystems, ADCS, propulsion, orbital mechanics, and other important topics relevant to careers in the space industry. The term project involved reverse engineering an existing space mission (in my case, the ESA’s ExoMars and TGO) to gain a thorough understanding of the subsystems and then modifying the design to add capabilities or improve performance.
The project required a detailed analysis of our modifications, beginning with a proposal and poster in a Preliminary Design Review and culminating in a technical justification of the proposed improvements in a Critical Design Review presentation and 60-page written report. My contributions to the project included the proposal to use either a radioisotope thermal generator or Ultraflex solar arrays to extend the mission of the ExoMars lander, and designing CAD/FEA models of the solar arrays to conduct vibration analysis in SolidWorks.
Please see the links below to see PDFs of the poster, CDR presentation, and report.
(Featured image: ESA)