The University of Southampton

SESA6080 Concurrent Engineering Design

Module Overview

This module is a spacecraft design module, which will build on the understanding and knowledge gained from the Space Systems Engineering and Advanced Astronautics modules in part 3, as well as the modules covered in part 2. The Concurrent Spacecraft Design module will place those “building blocks” of spacecraft engineering into the context of a group spacecraft design project, with a particular emphasis on concurrent design.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To undertake an industrially relevant spacecraft design exercise using principles studied in the Space Systems Engineering 2 module, enabling you to apply knowledge and understanding in a functional manner. Having successfully completed the module, you will be able to apply project management and systems engineering skills to a real-world spacecraft design, taking into account relevant standards and regulations (including those focusing on environmental impacts). You will be able to understand the different roles and responsibilities of team members in spacecraft design projects, recognise the need for data management tools and use these for enabling concurrent design practices, understand the role of computer simulations in the spacecraft design process and apply these tools to spacecraft design problems, and communicate your work in written form and verbally.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • How to use good management practices for space projects
  • How different roles contribute to spacecraft design projects
  • How data management and simulation tools can be used to support spacecraft design
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse alternative spacecraft design configurations and options
  • Identify and apply appropriate data management and design software solutions to spacecraft design
  • Design space missions using a concurrent design approach
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Work as part of a team
  • Collate and prioritise information according to design objectives
  • Solve problems systematically and concurrently
  • Communicate design choices and justifications using written and verbal methods


The module will focus on the design of a small-satellite mission that will require understanding of spacecraft subsystems (knowledge coming from SESA2024 Astronautics and SESA3025/3039 Advanced Astronautics), space systems engineering and space project management (knowledge from SESA3041 Space Systems Engineering & Design). The module will comprise group work, based in a computer laboratory, to develop the spacecraft design. In addition, computer-based sessions will introduce concurrent spacecraft design software, an industrial standard design software tool for spacecraft (Systems Tool Kit) and a debris environment tool to assess the regulatory aspects of the space mission.

Special Features


Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: Computer labs Regular design reviews Learning activities include: Software-based tutorials Individual and group work

Follow-up work16
Preparation for scheduled sessions16
Wider reading or practice34
Completion of assessment task32
Specialist Laboratory52
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Debris Assessment Software (DAS).

Concurrent Spacecraft Design Environment. Software - Provided by the Faculty

Systems Tool Kit (software). Provided by the Faculty

MASTER space debris environment model.

P.W. Fortescue, J.P.W. Stark and G.G. Swinerd (2011). Spacecraft Systems Engineering. 


Assessment Strategy



Group Projects


MethodPercentage contribution
Conference paper 80%
Group Poster Presentation 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Technical report 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Technical report 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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