AAE 53500: Propulsion Design, Build, Test

Sem. 2, Class 1, cr. 3

Prerequisite: AAE 439 and consent of instructor

Course Instructor: Professor Timothée L. Pourpoint

Course Description:

AAE535, "Propulsion design, build, and test," is a unique and intensive learning experience based on the propulsion heritage at Purdue and the test and fabrication capabilities available to students.

In providing a means to complete a design process, the course provides the following information:

  • Derivation of design requirements from mission objective to detailed components;
  • Standard methods for thermostructural, life, performance, and combustion stability design analysis;
  • Tools to develop experimental procedures as well as fabricate and test the designed propulsion systems.

Course goals:

  • Deepen knowledge of topics relevant to propulsion systems
  • Identify and formulate design requirements for all components of a propulsion system
  • Describe a design that is likely to meet the set of requirements
  • Use modern engineering tools to complete the design process
  • Apply engineering knowledge and skills acquired in previous classes to the design problem
  • Solve problems as part of a team
  • Communicate effectively by giving oral presentations and writing technical reports required of design engineers

Student assessment:

There are two types of graded items for the course: major design deliverables and progress items.

Major Design Deliverables

There are typically five major deliverables due during the semester. As the semester proceeds, time available may dictate some changes in these deliverables.

  1. A proposal to the instructor, other propulsion faculty in AAE, and the sponsor as applicable; outlining the proposed design concept, a work plan for the semester, and a budget.
  2. A presentation for the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and accompanying written document that demonstrates preliminary designs meet system requirements with acceptable risk.
  3. A presentation for the Critical Design Review (CDR) and accompanying written document that describes how the systems will be manufactured.
  4. Presentations for the Test Readiness Reviews (TRR) and accompanying written documents that describes how the systems will be tested.
  5. A final report in the format of an AIAA paper.

Progress Items

  • In addition to these five major deliverables, a “progress” score contributes a portion towards the final course grade.  To help keep teams moving forward through the design project and assess the contribution of individual team members, the instructor will assign progress items that the teams will present to the instructor and teaching assistant during an identified class period. 
  • Most of these progress items will be in the form of in-class presentations.  The instructor will assign a progress score based upon how close teams are to having the item completed.  The progress score will be based on the clarity of the presentation, and the ability of the presenter to manage the time allotted for the presentation.  All students from each team will be expected to present.
  • All presentations will be evaluated according to criteria listed on a grading sheet (to be provided).