Are you new to space engineering? No problem. If you meet the application requirements, you will have no issues in catching up during the first semester of the Masters.
Focus of the MSE programmeMSE study programme comprises 120 credit points in total and focuses on Space System Design, Space Technology, Space Management & Operation and Intercultural Communication.
Masters thesisA Masters thesis, either in one of the exciting research projects at the university or with an industry partner, finalises the programme.
InternshipThe wide network of partners in the European space industry provides the MSE students with an opportunity to gain internship experience and establish valuable contacts during their studies.
- The module imparts the fundamentals of space technology. Space systems engineers need general knowledge in several technical and programmatic subjects in space engineering. This knowledge allows them to classify their space projects with respect to the application area, space history, space environment, possible orbits, launch vehicle options, and many other aspects. The module also introduces software tools that are relevant to space engineers. The students will be able to use these tools and apply the skills in other modules and in their careers.
– History of spaceflight
– The utilization of space
– Engineering tools (e.g. MATLAB, CAD software, Git, GMAT)
– Numerical simulations
– Scientific documentation with LaTeX
– The space environment
– Human spaceflight
– Space systems engineering
– Complexity of satellite systems
– Orbital mechanics
– Launch vehicles
- Satellites are complex systems that consist of payloads and up to seven subsystems that serve to accomplish the mission objectives. This module provides insights about the technologies and design approaches for each satellite subsystem. The knowledge and skills taught in this module are fundamental for space systems engineers.
- The module starts with the classification of satellites and their main applications. The module then addresses each of the satellite subsystems one after the other. The main tasks, design drivers, technologies, working principles, budgets, methods and interfaces of each subsystem are discussed. The following subsystems are addressed in this module:
– Structure and Mechanisms (S&M)
– Thermal Control Subsystem (TCS)
– Attitude Control Subsystem (ACS)
– Electrical Power Subsystem (EPS)
– On-Board Data Handling (OBDH)
– Telemetry, Tracking & Command (TT&C)
– Satellite propulsion
- Nowadays, it is required that space systems engineers have basic knowledge and skills in electronics. Electronics and electrical hardware and software are significant parts of any space mission. The systems engineer must understand the main requirements on spacecraft equipment and their interconnections with respect to electrical characteristics and interfaces. The module imparts the practical skills relevant to designing hardware and software for a spacecraft.
- The module consists of two lecture courses. In Space Electronics 1, the focus is set on introducing the student to analog electronics, handling basic hardware and software tools. Space Electronics 2 sets a focus on digital electronics. The following main topics are covered in the course:
– Basic analog parts
– Using basic electrical laws
– Design and simulation of electrical circuits
– Handling of laboratory equipment
– Basics of digital electronics
– Programming of microcontrollers
– Hardware related electronic design aspects for spacecraft
– Software related electronics design aspects for spacecraft
- Space radiation has major effects on spacecraft and humans in space. The module introduces students to the sources, the characteristics, and the effects of space radiation. This knowledge is vital for space systems engineers who coordinate radiation test campaigns and plan technical measures for mitigating radiation effects.
- The following topics are addressed in this module:
– Radiation concept and units
– The space radiation environment
– Effects of space radiation on electronics
– Detailed TID effects in electronics
– Single Event Effects (SEE) in electronics
– Introduction to computational tools and calculation of radiation models
– Simulation of radiation effects on electronics
– Preparation of a total ionizing dose (TID) irradiation test setup with electronic components
– Hands-on radiation test campaign in a radiation chamber
– Basics of radiation effects mitigation
- In this module, students learn about the dynamics, kinematics altitude determination and control of spacecraft using control theory. Several concepts for altitude control of spacecraft are shown in detail.
- Mission analysis and requirements on attitude control systems, various possibilities of parameterization of spacecraft attitudes, kinematics of attitude control, rigid body dynamics; attitude determination (deterministically, statistically), classical control theory (root locus, PID-controller), model-based state prediction, basics and methods of state control
- The module gives a technical overview on rocket and spacecraft propulsion systems. Students will understand the basic principles and system solutions for a large variety of propulsion technologies.
– Applications and classification of spacecraft propulsion systems
– Theoretical basics of rocket propulsion systems
– Characteristic parameters of space propulsion
– Basics of orbital mechanics for spacecraft maneuvers
– Electric propulsion systems
– Other non-chemical propulsion systems
– Solid propulsion systems
– Hybrid propulsion systems
– Space propellants
– Fundamentals of thermodynamics, gas dynamics, and nozzles
– Liquid propulsion systems
– Tank design and propellant feed systems
– Injection system
– Airbreathing propulsion systems (ramjet and scramjet)
- The module covers the basics of remote sensing with spacecraft. Several sensors and instruments in different wavelengths are highlighted in technical detail. The module includes a project in which payload for remote sensing is designed using a systematic approach.
- Introduction to Earth observation, electromagnetic waves, Earth observation system theory, sensor electronics, optical space sensor systems, infrared sensors, sensors for attitude determination of satellites, microwave sensor systems, sensor date processing
Space System Design
- The space industry is demanding for space systems engineers capable of designing a space system from the basic requirements while having a robust knowledge of the project management, technical design, and product assurance disciplines. This module builds the skills to harmonize all engineering disciplines related to a space system design project, from a managerial and technical perspective. The module follows the European standards to project management, system analysis, reliability, and risk assessment as well as verification and testing strategies. The students actively apply the knowledge gained in the theoretical lectures on hands-on experience projects.
– ECSS Project Management
– Baseline schedule, cost structure
– Organizational breadown structures, risk analysis
– Functional trees, design or buy (Technology Readiness Level)
– Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS)
– Configuration management plan
– Verification program and model philosophy
– Assembly, Integration and Testing (AI&T)
– Concurrent Design Facilities (CFD)
- The space industry is demanding for space systems engineers with hands-on experience. The module imparts the basics of the methodical detailed design and test of space equipment from a hands-on perspective. A focus is set on applying practical skills in mechanical, electrical, and software design in the scope of a space project. The students shall be able to design and test hardware and software on a component, subsystem or system level.
- The module does not contain theoretical lectures but practically focuses on applying knowledge and skills from previous modules. Depending on the project’s topic, introductory sessions about the project and additional required content may be provided. Highly relevant content like mechanical/electrical/software design, interface definition, project planning, testing, and more may be recapitulated depending on the focus of the project. The weekly attendance is mainly used to discuss the development status of the project and the next steps.
- Humans use robotic systems to explore celestial bodies and to manipulate objects in space. This module introduces the basics of planetary physics, exploration of celestial bodies by robots, and in-situ resource utilization. The design, testing, and operation of robotic systems are addressed with a practical approach, using engineering models of robots in the scope of a hands-on project.
– Basic terms in planetary exploration and space robotics
– Robotic space exploration missions
– Technology of planetary robots
– Machine perception
– Machine learning
– Navigation of mobile robots
– Asteroids, meteorites, and comets
– The Moon and in situ resource utilization
– The Mars and in situ resource utilization
– Version control with Git
– Introduction to Ubuntu
– Introduction Python
– Robot Operating System (ROS)
– Robot design project
- This module focuses on the manufacturing ad testing of a robotic system for a defined mission scenario. A given design problem will be solved by the students. A production and test philosophy is to be implemented and applied by the students.
- Detailed design of robot subsystems, project workflow, software design guidelines, team file management, testing and operation of robot systems
Space Management & Operations
- The space industry is demanding for systems engineers capable of planning a space mission from project initiation to completion. This module introduces the programmatic aspects of space mission planning and operations. This involves acquiring a robust knowledge on the international standards and activities in astronautics. One focus of the module is set on gaining competencies in planning a space mission through its whole life cycle. Another focus is set on mission operations, which covers the theoretical aspects of ground stations and mission control structures, as well as handling procedures for mission operations.
– Basics of space mission planning
– Introduction to ECSS standards
– Space activities of ESA, DLR, CNES
– Basics of space operations
– Satellite operations
– Regulatory aspects for space missions (space law)
– Ground station architectures
– Tools for space mission planning
– Project on mission design
- Human spaceflight is increasingly becoming a key driver in the world’s total expenditure in the space domain, with many space agencies announcing the realization of future permanent crewed habitats on extra-terrestial environments. The module introduces students to the challenges and solutions of humans living and working in space from a technical and psychological aspect. Students start with the medical and psychological processes of adaptation to space environments, and continue with the module to build their engineering skills and design innovative strategies to mitigate the harsh space environment on humans.
Technical Aspects of Human Spaceflight:
– History of crewed spaceflight
– Protection and mitigation against micro meteorites, micro-gravity,
thermal environment, radiation
– Regenerative life support systems
– Human space law
– Space suits
– In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU)
– Analog studies
– Microgravity and changed day-night-cycle as specific stress factors of
the space environment
– Physiological problems of adaption to zero-gravity
– Effect of microgravity on cognitive and psychomotor functions and
– Psychological effects of isolation and confinement on performance
– Mental stat and sozio-psychological processes within astronaut crews
– Psychological aspects of selection, training and support of
- The module covers the basics of space flight mechanics. For practical application in mission design processes, students shall learn about celestial mechanics, time and reference systems, perturbations on satellite trajectories.
- Two-body problem, undisturbed satellite orbits, time- and reference systems, gravitational and non-gravitational forces, perturbation theory, orbit integration, special orbits, relative motion, interplanetary orbits and launch trajectories, special problems of orbital mechanics, impulsive orbit transitions, re-entry of spacecraft, applications
- In this module, students are introduced to the fundamentals in satellite geodesy, celestial mechanics and primary space geodetic techniques. After completing the module, the students are familiar with the most important observation methods in space geodesy and data analysis. They know the strengths and weaknesses of the individual techniques, how they contribute to measure the three pillars of geodesy Earth shape, Earth rotation and Earth gravity field) and what type of phenomena and processes in the Earth system they can observe and monitor. They understand that only the integrated analysis of a variety of complementary sensors allows the separation of different processes of global change in the Earth system.
- Geodetic reference systems, Space- and ground based geodetic observation techniques, Methods to solve huge parameter estimation problems and time series analyses, Estimation of station motion and surface deformation, Global gravity field determination methods, Orbit determination methods, GNSS remote sensing
- Students will gain solid knowledge in radio communication and signal processing. They will understand the working principles of hardware and software related to satellite communication. In combination with the knowledge and skills gained in previous courses in space engineering, the participants will be able to set up a satellite communication link. In scope of a curricular project, the participants will build a ground station in interdisciplinary teams. They will scientifically document and present their work at the end of the project.
– Applied technical know-how regarding the transmission of radio signals: characteristics of electromagnetic waves, components for transmitter and receiver circuits, antennas, transmission path, modulation and encoding schemes, operating modes, EMC etc.
– Practical hardware and/or software design as well as manufacturing resp. implementation
– Using electrical and HF measuring instruments
– Methodogically planning an organizing a project
– Scientific documentation and presentation of the practical work
Germany is a country with many career options for space engineers. The module shall not only help in simplifying life in Germany during the studies, but will support career opportunities in the German space industry.
- Space systems engineers plan project activities and manage technical teams. This module focuses on developing the practical skills required for the successful management of space projects.
– Fundamentals of project management
– Factors of project success
– Project initiation phase and environmental scanning
– Work breakdown structure / analytic hierarchy process (AHP)
– Resources and time planning
– Risk management
– Project implementation
– Project management standards: PMI
– Leading a project team by using team management systems
– Basics of agile project management (Scrum)
– Scrum versus waterfall project management
– Team management systems
– Leadership in project calculation for project managers
- Nowadays, technical knowledge is not the only competence necessary for a successful career. Many space start-ups are founded and large companies and agencies adapt to challenges using new methods of innovation management. This module introduced current key themes in innovation and entrepreneurship, including human-centred design and innovation eco-systems. This practical course will guide students to create new valued products, services or process, from idea generation trough to business concept development, testing and presentation.
– Innovation processes and methods
– Innovation strategies
– Innovation and gender
– Business models
– Effectuation and entrepreneurial mindset
– Space related aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship
– Agile management
- Skills in communication and social competence are key factors for prospective engineers seeking leading positions. The module will prepare students for the social challenges in the work environment and provide a basic understanding and a hands-on experimentation space for the key soft skills required to lead employees, teams and organisations. In immersive real-life situations, students will train and develop their abilities in teamwork, adaptability, collaborative problem solving and other key transferrable soft skills.
– Communication skills
– Culture map
– Teamwork and collaboration
– Active listening
– Critical observation
– Feedback and feedforward
– Collaborative problem solving and decision making