Assignments

Special software is required to use some of the files in this section: .m, .xls, .zip.

A text editor can be used to open the .asv files.

Overview

Homework assignments for this course will indicate the scope of the design to undertake e.g., how many factors to optimize between, but rarely the specific problem to solve.  Instead, student teams will choose problems of interest, and refine their design objectives in consultation with the faculty.  In that regard, each student team will propose both the problem and the solution.

Process

Homework for this class will be completed in teams that are selected by the instructors and changed during the semester. Homework will be handed out every other Wednesday and will be due one week later. In some cases each team's homework problems may be unique. When homework is turned in you should make two copies of your work, one for the instructor and one for another team to evaluate. In the next week you will prepare an evaluation of the other team's work.

Software Modules

Most of the homework problems will require the coding of software modules. We suggest you use MATLAB® to code these modules and will provide a tutorial to help you learn the programming language. We intend for these modules to be useful in future subjects (e.g. 16.89) or satellite system design work beyond your studies at MIT. The point of analyzing the other teams' work and receiving comments on your own is to help you build useful and effective tools. Your modules will very likely be used in 16.89 Space Systems Engineering.

The modules should mathematically capture the relationships between the discipline's inputs and outputs and in general relate subsystem performance and cost to the subsystem's requirements. When used in an integrated concurrent engineering context, you will be asked to determine how the subsystem performance or cost will change as a result of changes in the requirements. The module must be complex enough to capture the important relationships yet simple enough to provide outputs that make sense. You should ensure that your modules are appropriately documented with explicit definitions of input and output so that you and others will understand its structure in the 16.851 evaluation as well as future applications. You are likely to use this program again in the future or may need to use part of it in developing the solution to another problem. You might have to update it or correct errors. In any case, the faculty and the review team will grade it. Documentation is essential so that we can understand and give proper credit for your work. Good documentation would include:

  1. Programmer's name
  2. A concise requirements specification
  3. Descriptions of problem inputs, expected outputs, constraints and applicable formula
  4. A pseudo-code or flowchart for its algorithm (optional)
  5. A source program listing
  6. A hardcopy of a sample test run of the program
  7. A user's guide explaining to nonprogrammer users how the program should be used (optional).

Assignments

The assignments for this course that were completed by each student group in Fall 2003 are provided in the table below.  A brief description of the problem each group selected may be found under 'Assignments'.  The 'Solutions' linked in the table are based upon pieces of code included under 'Tools'. The student work is courtesy of the students listed below.

STUDENTS              ASSIGNMENTS                                              SOLUTIONS TOOLS
Problem Set 1
Seung Chung

Mark Hilstad

Dan Kwon
The design of a spacecraft power subsystem is an important driver for the mass, size, and capability of the spacecraft. Create a power-system design tool applicable to a wide range of future design problems. (PDF) (Courtesy of Seung Chung, Mark Hilstad, and Dan Kwon. Used with permission.) ps1_cg_tools.zip (ZIP) (The ZIP file contains: 1 .gif file, 2 .png files, 2 .xls files, and 17 .m files.) (Courtesy of Seung Chung, Mark Hilstad, and Dan Kwon. Used with permission.)
Christopher Hynes

Steve Paschall
Design a launch vehicle decision tool to provide ease of launch vehicle selection given spacecraft design specifications. (PDF) (PDF) ps1_cs_tools.zip (ZIP) (The ZIP file contains: 1 .txt file, 5 .asv files, and 22 .m files.)
Andrew Vaughan

David Woffinden
As future space missions plan to utilize Lagrange Point Orbits, describe the potential orbits about the stable and unstable Lagrange points. (PDF) (Courtesy of Andrew Vaughan and David Woffinden. Used with permission.)
Problem Set 2
Namiko Yamamoto

Seung Chung
Design a tool that compares a set of feasible orbit transfer and propulsion system combinations for a given mission requirement, in terms of desired orbit transfers. (PDF) (Courtesy of Seung Chung and Namiko Yamamoto. Used with permission.) (PDF) (Courtesy of Seung Chung and Namiko Yamamoto. Used with permission.) ps2_cg_tools.zip (ZIP) (The ZIP file contains: temp.m, misc.m, compute_spiral_transfer.m, compute_impulsive_Delta_V_max.m, compute_Hohmann_transfer_test.m, compute_Hohmann_transfer_segments.m, compute_Hohmann_transfer.m, compute_high_energy_transfer_test.m, compute_high_energy_transfer.m, and compute_Delta_V_max_test.m) (Courtesy of Seung Chung and Namiko Yamamoto. Used with permission.)
Christopher Hynes

Kathryn Weiss
Determine the surface area of a solar panel needed to produce enough power to meet the requirements of a given spacecraft, considering altitude and inclination and type of solar cell. (PDF) (PDF) ps2_cs_tools.zip (ZIP) (The ZIP file contains: ArrayDesign.asv, pwrBOL.m, perfDegrad.m, calcPW.m, and ArrayDesign.m.)
Andrew Long

Anna Silbovitz
The final orbit of a satellite is a key component of mission planning. Given a payload mass and final orbit, determine the preferred launch vehicle and launch site. (PDF)
Problem Set 3
Seung Chung

Matthew Richards
Degradation of solar array performance due to radiation within space environment is an important effect to consider when designing the power subsystem. Characterize this degradation given orbit position as a function of time. (PDF) (Courtesy of Seung Chung and Matthew Richards. Used with permission.) ps3_cg_tools.zip (ZIP) (The ZIP file contains: 1 .asv file, and 40 .m files.) (Courtesy of Seung Chung and Matthew Richards. Used with permission.)
Christopher Hynes

Andrew Vaughan
The near-Earth space and atmospheric environments strongly influence the performance and lifetime of operational space systems. Design a tool that helps size ACS actuators for a satellite mission given specific mission objectives and environmental disturbances. (PDF) ps3_cs_tools.zip (ZIP) (The ZIP file contains: thrustersizing.m, t_solar.m, t_gg.m, t_bfield.m, t_aero.m, reacwheelsize.m, reacwheel_cmgsize.m, reachwheel&cmgsize.m, obj2actuator.m, momwheelsizing.m, magtorsizing.m, ae2rv.m, and ACSsize.m.)
Problem Set 4
Seung Chung

Steve Paschall

Kathryn Weiss
The power and communications subsystems aboard a spacecraft interact with one another as a function of the spacecraft’s orbit to achieve a set of requirements. Determine the optimal combination of orbit size and inclination, solar array and battery sizes, communication subsystem power usage and antenna size, given a specified ground station. (PDF) ps4_cg_tools.zip (ZIP) (The ZIP file contains: test.m, Scenario.m, compute_feasible_circular_LEO_test.m, compute_feasible_circular_LEO.m, and compute_communication_time.m.)
Christopher Hynes

Afreen Siddiqi

Thomas Leaute
A satellite being able to communicate with the ground station is an essential part of the spacecraft mission. Determine the optimum communication frequency and optimum data rate that minimized the combined mass requirements of telemetry, communications, and power subsystems. (PDF) (PDF) ps4_cs_tools.zip (ZIP) (The ZIP file contains: datastorage.xls, and datamassstorage_sizing.m.)
Matthew Richards

Anna Silbovitz
Ground communication is often an essential part of a satellite’s function.  The data is sent at a specified rate, and the power needed by the transmitter is a function of this rate. For a low-earth satellite, find the power system needed if the satellite must send data to the ground once a day.
Problem Set 5
Seung Chung

Anna Silbovitz
With greater demand for high-resolution images and the technological infeasibility of manufacturing and launching larger aperture optics, many missions are turning to interferometry as an alternative high-resolution imagery technique. Optimize the design of a satellite so that it has high-resolution imaging capability but with minimal mass spacecraft.
Christopher Hynes

Bill Nadir

Namiko Yamamoto
In 2001, the first space tourist, Dennis Tito, traveled to the International Space Station onboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.
The travels of Dennis Tito are just the beginning for space tourism. Design a concept for a Space Hotel orbiting Earth.
Andrew Long

Christine Taylor

Thomas Leaute
The US manned space program is entering an era of mutation, as NASA now has to deal with new challenges, after recent events such as the Columbia tragedy or the symbolical first "taikonaut" in space. It is clear that this New Deal and a revived international cooperation will create opportunities for space agencies to move the frontiers a little farther and extend the presence of man on orbit, possibly on board a new Space Station. You, a recent MIT grad, have been approached by NASA to design the next US Space Station. (PDF)
Problem Set 6
Seung Chung

Steve Paschall

Alexa Figgess

Matthew Richards
Mars is of great scientific interest given the potential evidence of past or present life. As the closest planet with a relatively mild environment, there exists a unique opportunity to explore Mars with humans. Design a software tool that performs a trade of the life support, propulsion, and power subsystems for a human transportation vehicle from Earth to Mars. (PDF) ps6_cg_tools.zip (ZIP) (The ZIP file contains: 3 .xls files, and 19 .m files.)
Christopher Hynes

Christine Taylor

James Whiting
Thermal radiation is an important consideration in spacecraft design. A spacecraft's skin must account for thermal effects, but it must also be inexpensive and reasonable to build. Design a spacecraft structure to account for thermal radiation effects while minimizing cost. (PDF) ps6_cs_tools.zip (ZIP) (The ZIP file contains: thermal.m, strength.m, SATELLITE_COST.m, mat.m, and mat.asv.)
Dan Kwon

Afreen Siddiqi

Andrew Vaughan

Bill Nadir
A manned mission to Mars poses several significant technological challenges for engineers. One such challenge is to minimize the physiological impact on the astronauts during prolonged spaceflight. A possible solution to this is using artificial gravity. Create a tool to evaluate the feasibility of an artificial gravity Mars mission. (PDF)