Space Systems Engineering - Curriculum 591

Program Officer

William Crane, CDR

Code 78, Bullard Hall, Room 203

(831) 656-7517, DSN 756-7517

wmcrane1@nps.edu

Academic Associate

Michael Ross, Distinguished Professor

Code MAE, Watkins Hall, Room 306

(831) 656-2074, DSN 756-2074

imross@nps.edu

Brief Overview

The Space Systems Engineering program provides officers, through graduate education, with a comprehensive scientific and technical knowledge of national security, military and naval space systems. This curriculum is designed to equip officers with the theoretical and practical skills required to design and integrate national security and military space payloads with other spacecraft subsystems. Graduates will be prepared by their education to design, develop and manage the acquisition of space communications, navigation, surveillance, electronic warfare and environmental sensing systems.

Requirements for Entry

A baccalaureate degree, or its equivalent, in engineering or the physical sciences is preferred. An APC of 323 is required for direct entry. The Engineering Science program (Curriculum 460) is available for candidates who do not meet all admission requirements. The additional required time to complete the Engineering Science program will vary upon the candidate's background. For those wishing to pursue the electrical engineering or computer science degree option, the candidate will need to have earned the equivalent of an accredited BSEE or BSCS. A TOP SECRET security clearance is required with SPECIAL INTELLIGENCE (SI) clearance obtainable for all students.

Entry Date

Space Systems Engineering is a nine-quarter course of study with an entry date in Fall Quarter. Those requiring the one quarter Engineering Science curriculum will have their time of arrival adjusted to accommodate it. If further information is needed, contact the Academic Associate or the Program Officer.

Degree

A student can earn one of the following degrees in the Space Systems Engineering (Curriculum 591): Master of Science in, Astronautical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Applied Physics, Computer Science, or Engineering Science (Astronautical Engineering). In addition to the master's degree programs offered by the Space Systems Engineering (Curriculum 591) the degree of Astronautical Engineer, and a Ph.D. in Astronautical Engineering, (Curriculum 597) are also available. Required classes vary by degree. The placement of these required classes in the course of study shown below indicate Degree Specialization Electives known as degree “track courses”.

Subspecialty

Completion of this curriculum qualifies an officer as a Space Systems Engineering Specialist with a subspecialty code of 5500P. The curriculum sponsor is NAVSEA and the designated Subject Matter Expert is the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Space Field Activity (SSFA).

U.S. Marine Corps officers completing this curriculum fulfill the requirements for MOS 8866.

Typical Subspecialty Jobs

Project Officer/Engineer: SPAWAR, San Diego, CA

Project Officer/Engineer: SPAWAR Space Field Activity/NRO, Chantilly, VA

Satellite Communications Engineer: NAVSOC, Point Mugu, CA

Space Advisor: Naval Network Warfare Command, Norfolk, VA

Project Officer: Space Warfare Center, USSTRATCOM, Omaha, NE

Project Officer/Engineer, C4ISR Programs: SPAWAR Systems Center, San Diego, CA

Typical Course of Study - (Astronautical Engineering Track)

Notes:

Multiple course of study tracks are available in the 591 curriculum that result in a related Space Systems Engineering Master’s Degree. The course of study below has Astronautical track classes, as annotated in the course title block, which can be replaced with other track classes to obtain a different Master of Science degree.

NW courses listed are required for JPME 1 qualification, but may not be required by the student’s designator or branch of service.

Typical Course of Study - (Astronautical Engineering Degree Track)

Quarter 1

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
MA2121Differential Equations

4

0

AE2820Introduction to Spacecraft Structures

3

2

ME2801Introduction to Control Systems

3

2

NW3230Strategy & War

4

2

SS4000Space Systems Seminars

0

1

Quarter 2

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
SS3500Orbital Mechanics and Launch Systems

4

2

PH2514Introduction to the Space Environment

4

0

MA3046Matrix Analysis

4

1

NW3285Theater Security Decision Making

4

0

SS4000Space Systems Seminars

0

1

Quarter 3

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
AE3815Spacecraft Rotational Mechanics

3

2

EO2525Probabilistic Analysis of Signals and Communication Systems

4

1

PH3052Physics of Space and Airborne Sensor Systems

4

0

SS4000Space Systems Seminars

0

1

Quarter 3 Degree Track Courses (Astronautical)

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
AE3811Space Systems Laboratory

2

2

AE3830Spacecraft Guidance and Control

3

2

Quarter 4

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
AE3851Spacecraft Propulsion

3

2

EO3525Communications Engineering

4

1

SS3051Military Applications of DoD and Commercial Space Systems

4

0

SS4000Space Systems Seminars

0

1

Quarter 4 Degree Track Courses (Astronautical)

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
ME3521Mechanical Vibration

3

2

Quarter 5

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
SS3861Spacecraft Payload Design I

2

4

EC3230Space Power and Radiation Effects

3

1

AE3818Spacecraft Attitude, Determination, and Control

3

2

SS4000Space Systems Seminars

0

1

Quarter 5 Degree Track Courses (Astronautical)

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
AE4850Astrodynamic Optimization

3

2

Quarter 6

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
SS4861Spacecraft Payload Design II

2

4

AE3804Thermal Control of Spacecraft

3

2

SS3001Military Applications of National Space Systems

4

1

SS4000Space Systems Seminars

0

1

Quarter 6 Degree Track Courses (Astronautical)

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
AE4818Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing of Military Spacecraft

3

2

ME4881Aerospace Trajectory Planning and Guidance

2

4

Quarter 7

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
SS0810Space Systems Thesis Research

0

8

AE4870Spacecraft Design and Integration I

4

0

SS3101Ground Systems and Mission Operations

3

2

AE4881Aerospace Trajectory Planning and Guidance

2

4

SS4000Space Systems Seminars

0

1

Quarter 8

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
AE4871Spacecraft Design and Integration II

2

4

SS0810Space Systems Thesis Research

0

8

EO2701Introduction to Cyber Systems

4

2

NW3275Joint Maritime Operations - part 1

4

0

SS4000Space Systems Seminars

0

1

Quarter 9

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
MN3331Principles of Acquisition and Program Management

5

1

SS0810Space Systems Thesis Research

0

8

SS0810Space Systems Thesis Research

0

8

NW3276Joint Maritime Operations - part 2

2

2

SS4000Space Systems Seminars

0

1

Educational Skill Requirements (ESR)

Space Systems Engineering- Curriculum 591

Subspecialty Code: 5500P

The officer must understand the fundamental concepts and be familiar with the basic functional areas of Space Systems Engineering within the Department of the Navy (DON) and the Department of Defense (DOD) including the following numbered ESRs:

  1. ORBITAL MECHANICS AND SPACE ENVIRONMENT
    a. Graduates will examine the basic physics of orbital motion, and calculate and distinguish the parameters used in the description of orbits and their ground tracks.
    b. Graduates will examine the design of orbits and constellations, and analyze how they are achieved, maintained, and controlled; to include spacecraft maneuver and orbit transfer calculations.
    c. Graduates will examine the fundamentals of spacecraft tracking and command/control from a ground station.
    d. Graduates will examine the various orbital perturbations, including those due to non-spherical earth and due to atmospheric drag, and interpret their effects.
    e. Graduates will analyze the relationship between various orbital characteristics and the satisfaction of mission requirements, including the advantages and disadvantages of various orbits.
    f. Graduates will design and optimize mission orbits through the analysis of common performance measures such as access, coverage, and revisit; and will employ appropriate tools to conduct these analyses.
    g. Graduates will examine the physical behavior of the upper atmosphere, ionosphere and space environment under the influence of both natural and artificial phenomena such as solar activity, geomagnetic and magnetospheric effects, and man-made disturbances.
    h. Graduates will apply this understanding of how the space environment impacts spacecraft parts, materials, and operations to spacecraft and mission design.
  2. NATIONAL SECURITY SPACE SYSTEMS
    a. Graduates will examine the nature of space warfare (theory, history, doctrine, and policy) to distinguish how space operations as discussed in JP 3-14 enable joint force capabilities, and interpret how current and planned space capabilities contribute to the satisfaction of mission objectives.
    b. Graduates will examine the roles, responsibilities, and relationships of National and DoD organizations in establishing policies, priorities, and requirements for National Security Space systems; and in the design, acquisition, operation, and exploitation of these systems.
    c. Graduates will examine the role of the Services / Agencies in establishing required space system capabilities, and will translate these capabilities into end-to-end, system-of-systems performance requirements.
    d. Graduates will examine: current and planned Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities; how space systems contribute to these capabilities; the intelligence collection and analysis process; and how war-fighters access information from these sources.
    e. Graduates will develop concepts of employment and assess space tactics and CONOPS. The development and assessment shall consider end-to-end capabilities and system-of-systems architectures that enhance, support, and integrate into military operations to include resiliency concepts in a contested environment.
    f. Graduates will identify how proposed space-related capabilities / doctrine transition from concept to real-world implementation through experimentation.
    g. Graduates will examine the capabilities of unclassified DoD and commercial space systems, and how those systems relate to National Space Systems to include potential overlaps and leverage opportunities.
  3. PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND SYSTEM ACQUISITION
    a. Graduates will examine project management and DoD system acquisition methods and procedures to include contract management, financial management and control, and the Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE).
    b. Graduates will recognize the role of the Defense Acquisition University and the acquisition courses and qualifications available.
    c. Graduates will examine system acquisition organizational responsibilities and relationships (e.g., Congress, DoD, Services, Resource Sponsor, Systems Commands, Operating Forces) as they pertain to the acquisition of systems for DoD, Naval, and civilian agency users.
    d. Graduates will examine the unique nature of space acquisition programs and plan a notional space system acquisition program.
  4. COMMUNICATIONS
    a. Graduates will examine the basic principles of communications systems engineering to include both the space and ground segments.
    b. Graduates will examine digital and analog communications architecture design, including such topics as frequency reuse, multiple access, link design, repeater architecture, source encoding, waveforms/modulations, and propagation media.
    c. Graduates will calculate and analyze link budgets to assess communication system suitability to support mission requirements, and to translate mission requirements into communications system design characteristics.
    d. Graduates will differentiate, compare, and contrast the characteristics and capabilities of current and future communications systems in use or planned by Naval operating and Joint forces afloat and ashore.
    e. Graduates will examine how current and planned space communications systems should be used to meet Joint communications requirements across the spectrum of operations.
    f. Graduates will differentiate signal processing techniques, both digital and analog, as applied to missions such as spacecraft communications, surveillance, and signals intelligence.
    g. Graduates will examine spacecraft vulnerabilities in an electronic warfare context.
  5. COMPUTERS: HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE
    a. Graduates will understand the fundamentals of digital logic and digital system design of simple digital computer subsystems.
    b. Graduates will examine the design of current and planned computer hardware and software architectures for space-based applications to include their potential to support service life extensions and enable incremental capabilities of cyber and platform resiliency.
    c. Graduates will examine the use of computers in complex systems such as guidance, signal processing, communications, and control systems.
    d. Graduates will examine the fundamentals of electronic component design, fabrication, reliability, and testing (to include radiation hardening), with an emphasis on parts, materials, and processes.
    e. Graduates will examine modern Information Technology capabilities and their applications for space systems ground processing, data storage, information sharing, and network design.
  6. SPACECRAFT GUIDANCE AND CONTROL
    a. Graduates will analyze the field of spacecraft guidance and control, to include topics such as linear control, rotational kinematics, rigid body dynamics, gravity gradient, spin and three-axis stabilization design, active nutation control, sources of and response to disturbance torques, and attitude determination and associated sensors and actuators.
    b. Graduates will apply these techniques to the analysis and design of resilient spacecraft guidance and control systems.
  7. SPACECRAFT STRUCTURES, MATERIALS AND DYNAMICS
    a. Graduates will examine the engineering of space structures and perform simplified sizing calculations and analytical modeling of advanced materials.
    b. Graduates will analyze the advanced dynamics and control of these structures.
    c. Graduates will analyze the viability of structures and materials for survivability in the space environment.
  8. PROPULSION SYSTEMS
    a. Graduates will examine the operating principles (fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism) and propulsion devices used in current and proposed space applications.
    b. Graduates will analyze and choose appropriate propulsion systems for spacecraft applications to include launch, orbit transfers, and spacecraft maneuvering with the potential for on-orbit serviceability.
  9. SPACECRAFT THERMAL CONTROL
    a. Graduates will examine the principles of heat transfer and how surfaces and materials are manipulated in spacecraft thermal control.
    b. Graduates will examine the design, analysis, and applications of current active and passive thermal control devices (including heat pipes, louvers, and materials).
    c. Graduates will examine the sources of heat in space (solar, terrestrial, reflected solar, internal vehicle generation) and their variation as a function of vehicle orbit, and apply this knowledge to thermal subsystem analysis and design.
  10. SPACECRAFT POWER
    a. Graduates will examine the principles and operating characteristics of major power generating systems for spacecraft, including the performance of photovoltaic sources in the natural and artificial radiation environment.
    b. Graduates will examine the principles and operating characteristics of energy storage devices in power systems design to include the potential to support associated service life extensions.
  11. REMOTE SENSING AND PAYLOAD DESIGN
    a. Graduates will examine principles of active and passive sensors in current or planned use, to include analysis of electromagnetic wave propagation and design of optics, detectors, and antennae.
    b. Graduates will examine the effects of the space, atmospheric, and terrestrial environments (including countermeasures) on sensor performance.
    c. Graduates will assess and conduct tradeoffs among various sensors and platforms, evaluating how each satisfies mission requirements such as access area, resolution, timeliness, and capacity.
    d. Graduates will examine the design of current and planned space-based mission payloads (e.g., ISR, Communications, PNT, SIGINT).
    e. Graduates will analyze mission capabilities and conduct associated trades in order to develop associated payload design requirements.
  12. SPACECRAFT DESIGN, INTEGRATION, AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
    a. Graduates will develop and assess an overall space system architecture to meet defined mission requirements through the use of systems engineering tools and processes.
    b. Graduates will derive system and subsystem performance criteria from stated mission capabilities and conduct trade-offs between payload and other spacecraft subsystems in addressing these capabilities.
    c. Graduates will examine a broad spectrum of mission assurance concerns such as reliability, risk management, configuration management, qualification and acceptance testing, proto-flight strategy, spacecraft materials and manufacturing processes, resiliency considerations and cyberspace.
    d. Graduates will examine various engineering and mathematical definitions of cost functions (revisit time, dwell time, local coverage, etc.) and apply emerging methods and tools to optimizing these utility measures in support of mission objectives.
    e. Graduates will examine the basic principles and operational issues of space access to include launch vehicle performance, launch windows, and their impact on military operations.
    f. Graduates will examine the capabilities of the various current and planned launch systems, and characterize the issues associated with integrating a spacecraft with a launch vehicle, to include the effects of launch environment.
    g. Graduates will perform a trade-off analysis in the selection of a launch vehicle based on mission requirements, performance and design constraints, and business issues involved (e.g., pricing, insurance, policy).
    h. Graduates will demonstrate proficiency in design, analysis, and modeling / simulation tools such as NX, MATLAB / Simulink, and Systems Tool Kit (STK).
    i. Graduates will examine the processes and methods of systems engineering including requirements analysis, functional analysis and allocation, system design, and verification.
  13. GROUND SYSTEMS AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
    a. Graduates will understand the fundamentals of a space-ground system architecture including the system-of-systems that comprise a space-based, end-to-end capability across all mission areas.
    b. Graduates will examine Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) views of real or notional space network architectures in order to understand necessary internal and external interfaces and domain interactions.
    c. Graduates will analyze enterprise and mission-specific frameworks from standard communications infrastructures (C&C, messaging, data, etc.), services, and tools to mission specific T&C, information products and data.
    d. Graduates will analyze network and non-network communications within an Information Technology Enterprise Domain context.
    e. Graduates will understand application program interface (API) challenges in relation to security requirements, risks and mitigation.
    f. Graduates will understand Risk Management Framework integration for cyber security system engineering efforts including information assurance and relevant documentation such as NIST SP800-30, DoDI 8500.1 and 8500.2.
    g. Graduates will analyze command and telemetry requirements and capabilities to support mission execution, vehicle operations and anomaly resolution.
    h. Graduates will analyze services for access, sharing, processing and external dissemination of information including data management and storage challenges such as "Big Data", open-source implementation and cloud technology applications for Ground Systems.
  14. CONDUCT AND REPORT INDEPENDENT RESEARCH
    a. Graduates will conduct independent research on a space systems problem, including resolution of the problem and presentation of the results and analysis in both written and oral form, via a Master’s thesis.
Curriculum Sponsor and ESR Approval Authority
Commander, Space and Naval Warfare Systems CommandCommander SPAWAR Space Field Activity
Revised June 2018