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Students’ Spacecraft Design Projects Reviewed by Industry, DOD Leaders
U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Lewis Hunsaker

Students’ Spacecraft Design Projects Reviewed by Industry, DOD Leaders

By MC1 Lewis Hunsaker

NPS Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Distinguished Professor Brij Agrawal welcomes students, staff and faculty, as well as more than 20 leading experts in spacecraft design, to this year’s Spacecraft Design Review in the MAE Auditorium, Sept. 14. The Spacecraft Design Review offers students feedback on their design projects directly from seasoned, space experts in the DOD and industry.

“The design course is comprised of three quarters that are completed in sequence, starting with the requirements of a spacecraft mission from the sponsor of the design,” said Agrawal, who launched the review in 1989 when he came to NPS. “The course helps students to become good spacecraft system engineers, and to optimize spacecraft design with cost constraints and performance requirements and how one subsystem design influences the other subsystems.”

Other universities focus on one spacecraft subsystem, Agrawal says, but NPS focuses on the entire spacecraft. “It’s a very unique program,” he added.

“Students find this course very useful as they go to work in spacecraft program offices,” continued Agrawal. “Due to the gained experience, these students are sought after to work in places like the NRO, [National Reconnaissance Office] or in industry areas after the military.”

The visiting reviewers were very impressed with the outcome and provided guidance to the students, added Agrawal. “NPS can excel in multidisciplinary areas as shown by this event and it is recognized by DoD, NASA, and industry experts,” concluded Agrawal.

This latest review is a bittersweet one for Agrawal, marking his final year teaching the course. However, he says, the design review will be back next year with only a possible change in format depending on the instructor of the course.

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September 2017

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