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Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the learning activities, assessments and attendance requirements for this unit may be subject to late changes. Please refer to this unit outline regularly for up to date information and to notices in the unit’s Canvas site for any adjustments.

Unit of study_

AERO4701: Space Engineering 3

This unit aims to teach students the fundamental principles and methods of designing solutions to estimation and control problems in aerospace engineering applications. Students will apply learned techniques in estimation and control theory to solving a wide range of different problems in engineering such as satellite orbit determination, orbit transfers, satellite attitude determination, satellite positioning systems and remote sensing. Students will learn to recognise and appreciate the coupling between the different elements within an estimation and control task, from a systems-theoretic perspective. Students will learn to use this system knowledge and basic design principles to design and test a solution to a given estimation task, with a focus on aerospace applications (such as satellite remote sensing).


Academic unit Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic
Unit code AERO4701
Unit name Space Engineering 3
Session, year
Semester 1, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

[65% average in (AERO3460 AND AERO3360 AND AERO3560 AND AERO3760) OR (MECH3660 AND MECH3261 AND MECH3361 AND AERO3760) OR (MECH3660 AND AMME3500 AND MTRX3700 AND AERO3760)] AND [Must have passed AERO3760]. Students must have achieved a 65% average mark in 3rd year for enrolment in this unit.
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Xiaofeng Wu,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation group assignment Preliminary design review
30% Week 05 -
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7 LO8
Presentation group assignment Critical design review
40% Week 10 -
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8
Assignment group assignment Assembly, integration and test
30% Week 13 -
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7
group assignment = group assignment ?

1. The students will perform the preliminary design given the requirements in groups; Each group will submit a preliminary design review report based on the preliminary designs (20% of the course mark);
2. Each group will give a presentation based on the preliminary design (10% of the course mark);
3. The students will submit a critical design review report based on the mock-up satellite hardware and software designs and functional testing results (30% of the course mark);
4. Each group will give a presentation based on the critical design (10% of the course mark);
5. The students will build a mock-up satellite by assembly, integration and test of the preliminary design with real hardware and software (20% of the course mark);
6. Each group will submit an Assembly, Integration and Test report (10%);
7. For the reports, each student will be assessed according to his/her quality of work as shown in the group reports. Peer assessement will be used to determine each student’s work in the satellite assembly, integration and test.

The best satellite design may be selected for a high altitude balloon/student rocket launch if available.


Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

After the deadline, the student/group will receive 10% late penalty for each day.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction and system engineering Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO5
Week 02 Preliminary design practice/lecture/guest lecture Project (4 hr) LO3 LO5 LO8
Week 03 Preliminary design practice/lecture/guest lecture/progress review Project (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 04 Preliminary design practice/lecture/guest lecture/progress review Project (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 05 Preliminary design review Presentation (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 06 Satellite subsystem design/lecture/guest lecture/progress review Project (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 07 Satellite subsystem design/lecture/guest lecture/progress review Project (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 08 Satellite subsystem design/lecture/guest lecture/progress review Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 09 Satellite subsystem design/lecture/guest lecture/progress review Project (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 10 Satellite subsystem design/lecture/guest lecture/progress review Project (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 11 Satellite assembly and functional testing/progress review Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 12 Satellite assembly and functional testing/progress review Project (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 13 Critical design review/demonstration Project (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. have obtained knowledge of system engineering aspects of designing spacecraft
  • LO2. have obtained knowledge of spacecraft bus subsystems & design
  • LO3. perform space mission analysis & design
  • LO4. have obtained knowledge of the space environment & its effects
  • LO5. have obtained knowledge of applications of small, low-cost satellites
  • LO6. communicate the design philosophy as well as the results
  • LO7. document the design process in sufficient detail that another engineer can continue on with the work just by going through the log book
  • LO8. design as a team of engineers.

Graduate qualities

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
Each student will be asked to provide a 3-minute update of his/her work on the project each week to make sure all the students are actively involved in the project. Peer review is only for the 3rd task.


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