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Space systems engineering is all about having a technical understanding of all of the subsystems involved in a spacecraft, including the structural and electrical systems, thermal control, power, and communication.

Most space systems engineers also typically have an area of special expertise, such as:

  • aerostructures
  • aerodynamics
  • guidance and control
  • propulsion
  • optical systems
  • thermal systems

Many experts in this field believe space systems engineering is the most important of all the engineering disciplines used in developing and fielding space systems because there are so many engineering disciplines involved.

While cybersecurity continues to be a concern to everyone involved in space systems engineering, a need for further global regulation of space is also receiving considerable attention.

Space debris regulation is especially much discussed these days. And it’s no wonder. With the accelerating pace and expanding diversification of the commercialization of space, one potential threat which could prove an existential challenge to the future development of space systems, both military and commercial, is space debris.

Space debris is a term for human-generated debris such as pieces of space craft, tiny flecks of paint from a spacecraft, parts of rockets, satellites that are no longer working, or explosions of objects in orbit flying around in space at high speeds. These items of debris could collide with operational satellites at extreme velocities, and despite their relatively small mass, cause massive damage.

In addition to this, there is the possibility that a Kessler Syndrome scenario may occur. This describes the instance of one collision itself creating more debris, causing more collisions in a run-away chain reaction. In the context of the rapid commercialization of space, it is likely that currently inadequate regulations may be imposed to ensure the continued availability of space for development.

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 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).

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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