Space engineers often wear many hats in order to facilitate safe space travel and the exploration of space.
The primary tasks of a space engineer are to design and analyze aircraft and spacecraft. Space engineers need to understand the principles of physics including aerodynamics, motion and propulsion, as well as fluid mechanics and other theoretical and practical topics.
Space engineers typically specialize in either aeronautical engineering or astronautical engineering. Aeronautical engineers focus on aircraft, whereas astronautical engineers focus on spacecraft. Some common jobs for aerospace engineers include aircraft or spacecraft designers, satellite and missile designers and builders, mechanical engineers, computer hardware engineers and electrical engineers.
Overall, a space systems engineer’s job is not all that different from what a general systems engineer does – but in space systems the environment generates unusual constraints that introduces unique challenges for systems engineers.
For example, a terrestrial systems engineer working on a big server rack that uses a lot of power could easily get a very big fan to blow the heat away. But in space, it’s not so easy. Because space is a vacuum, the space systems engineer needs to find other ways to dissipate heat, such as through conduction or radiation.
There are also other phenomena a space engineer deals with such as bit flipping, believe caused by a cosmic ray striking computer memory at just the right time and flipping a bit, turning a 0 into a 1 or vice versa. Things can get into a state that regular systems engineer couldn’t think possible.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Space Systems Engineering Fundamentals, a 2-day course introducing participants to the fundamental principles of systems engineering applied to development of space systems.
Participants will learn about project and systems engineering management, concept definition, stakeholders management, developing ConOps, trade studies, requirements analysis and engineering, system architecture and interface definition, system synthesis, engineering design, integration, verification and validation, operations/sustainability and system retirement (DEMIL).
Additionally, Tonex offers several more courses in Space Operations and Cybersecurity, which focus on priorities to assist space systems and combat readiness. Our training programs, courses, seminars and certifications provide space technologies and operational capabilities, operational missions of space lift, satellite communications, EO-IR sensor capabilities, AI and sensor fusion, missile warning and space control. Other courses:
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