Course Description

ECE6240 : Space Environment and Engineering

Semester: Fall

Credits: 3


Objective: Study of space environment and models used for engineering analysis. Topics include considerations for engineering in the space environment, such as plasma interactions, debris, chemical reactions, radiation effect, and thermal issues.

Prerequisite: MATH 2270, MATH 2280 ECE 5230 (corequisite)

Topics Covered:

* Overview of the Solar System
* The Sun
* Magnetic and Electric Fields
* Gravitational Fields
* Magnetosphere
* Neutral Environment
* Plasma Interactions
* Radiation Interactions
* Spacecraft Contamination
* Meteoroids and Space Debris

Course Outcomes:

1. A basic understanding of the space environment including the interaction of the solar cycle, magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere. A basic understanding of geomagnetic storms and how they perturb each space environment.
2. A working model of space physics models including IGRF, IRI, MSIS and radiation belt models. An understanding of the geophysical indexes upon which these models depend.
3. A working knowledge of distribution functions and fundamental length, time and velocity scales for the space environment.
4. An understanding of the fundamental interactions of spacecraft with the neutral, vacuum, radiation, particle and plasma environments of space.

Text Book: Pisacance, Vincent L. The Space Environment and Its Effects on Space Systems. Reston, VA: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2008.