Course Details


Course Summary

This training course is focused on introducing spacecraft engineers, subsystems engineers and managers to the technologies, systems and design methods that are specific to LEO satellites. The content includes satellite requirements development, design processes, technologies, systems engineering, fabrication, testing and operations in sufficient depth to ensure that attendees gain significant knowledge and understanding in these areas. The course includes practical examples to illustrate peculiarities of LEO satellites and applications.

Course Materials

Each attendee receives extensive notes and reference materials.


Who Should Attend

What You Will Learn

Course Outline

• Introduction to the LEO Satellite Community
 General Overview of LEO Applications
 Language of LEO Operators
 Unique Aspects of LEO Operations
 Examples of LEO Missions and Spacecraft
• LEO-Peculiar Satellite Systems, Applications and Operations
 Configuration Drivers, Such as Attitude Stabilization and Pointing Requirements
 Impacts of Drag
 Impacts of Gravity Gradients
 Orbital Debris Issues and Limitations
• LEO Missions, Applications and Orbital Mechanics
 Low Earth Orbital Mechanics and Characteristics
 Sun Sync & Non-Sun Sync
 Identification of LEO Advantages
 Altitude and Orbital Decay Effects
 End of Life Disposal
• LEO Operations vs GEO Operations
 Orbit Establishment, Initial and Maintenance Maneuvering
 Stationkeeping Requirements
 Orbit Changing Techniques for Altitude & Inclination
 Yaw Steering
 Ground Tracks
 Altitude and Orbital Decay Effects and Impacts of Drag
 Impacts of Gravity Gradients
 Radiation Effects on Lifetime and System Degradation
 Orbital Debris Issues and Limitations
• LEO Launch Vehicle Considerations, Dispensers
 Launch Vehicle Requirements and Selection Criteria for LEO missions
 Survey of Launch Vehicle Options
 New SmallSat Launch Vehicles to be Debuted in the Next 5 to 10 Years
 Special Launch Site Considerations
 Multi-Satellite Deployment from Dispenser (deployment time delay, phasing, etc)
 Trade-Space of Altitude vs. Inclination vs. Launch Mass
 Secondary/Rideshare Payload Launch Market
• LEO Mission Design and Requirements, Definition and Architecture
 Service Requirements
 Mission Ground System
 Launch Strategy
 Payload Specification
• LEO Satellite System Engineering
 Mission Drivers
 Command and Control CONOPS
 Payload Drivers
 Deriving Satellite Requirements
 Integration and Test Interfaces
• LEO Satellite Design
 Satellite Trades
 Defining Satellite Architecture
 Payload Accommodation
 Subsystems
 Integration and Test
 Ground Support Equipment
 Manufacturability
• Summary
 Mission Design Principles
 LEO Satellite Design Principles
 Operations and Operational Constraints


Dr. Marshall H. Kaplan & Robert A. Summers

Dr. Marshall H. Kaplan is a noted expert in aerospace systems and technologies and an internationally recognized lecturer on high technology aerospace topics. He has over 40 years of relevant experience in academia, government and industry. Dr. Kaplan has served as Chief Engineer on two large aerospace technology systems, Professor of Aerospace Engineering at a major US research university, consultant to the international satellite industry and senior advisor to the US Department of Defense and NASA. He is the author of three books including an internationally used textbook for engineers studying astronautics, Modern Spacecraft Dynamics and Control. Dr. Kaplan holds advanced degrees from M.I.T. and Stanford University. He is a Fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the American Astronautical Society (AAS). He has an extensive background in training working satellite professionals in satellite and mission design, technologies and spacecraft subsystems.

Robert A. Summers has been the Mission Systems Engineer for small satellite programs and has provided technical direction and leadership to several important NSS and Civilian Space initiatives. He has a B.S. in electri­cal engineering from Stanford University, a M.S. in computer science from The Johns Hopkins University, and a M.S. in technical management (with honors) from The Johns Hopkins Univer­sity. Mr. Summers has served as a senior spacecraft engineer at the Applied Physics Lab. and was the Vice President of Engineering at AeroAstro, where he also served as the Chief Engi­neer of the Standard Interface Vehicle program.