Courses Taught by Prof. Spencer
AAE 590: Space Flight Operations (Fall semester)
Space Flight Operations provides students with a technical foundation in space flight operations for human and robotic missions, and launch vehicle operations. The first segment of the course covers mission operations architecture, including concept of operations, trade studies, requirements definition, designing for operability, and the use of automation versus human-in-the-loop systems. The second segment introduces mission operations fundamentals, including mission planning and sequencing, command generation and validation, tracking station operation, spacecraft telemetry, and system fault protection. The third segment covers mission management topics, including flight team organization, risk management, contingency planning, flight team training, and mission operations cost estimation. In the fourth segment, the class reviews failure investigation reports for high-profile mission failures spanning human and robotic missions. Guest lectures are provided from NASA and industry presenters with experience spanning robotic and human spaceflight and launch operations.
AAE 490: Space Flight Project Implementation (Spring semester)
Space Flight Project Implementation allows students to gain hands-on experience in the design, integration, testing, and operation of an Earth-orbiting or deep space flight project. In a workshop format, the course provides the "big picture" of flight project implementation, and will dives into the details of spacecraft hardware and software. Development and testing of the mission operations and ground data system is included. In 2017-2018, the course is focused on the development and testing of the Aerodynamic Deorbit Experiment, a 1U CubeSat that was awarded a launch opportunity through the United Launch Alliance STEM CubeSat program.
AAE 251: Introduction to Aerospace Design (Fall & spring semesters)
Introduction to aerospace design acquaints students with the methods of assessing basic aircraft and spacecraft performance. The class covers introductory aerodynamics, propulsion, stability, and orbital mechanics. Computational methods of design are introduced and students use this along with analytical techniques to evaluate trade studies and perform optimization. The course concludes with a team-based design project where students use the skills taught in the class to practice concept generation and selection for aerospace vehicles. Effective communication of engineering analysis is also emphasized in the course.
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