Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing of Military Spacecraft

Course #AE4818

Est.imated Completion Time: 3 months


This course covers acquisition, tracking, and pointing (ATP) design for military systems, such as spacecraft and laser beam control systems. It covers effects of structural flexibility and jitter on ATP performance, jitter control, acquisition system, tracking algorithms, laser beam control, laser beam aberration due to atmosphere and its correction by using adaptive optics, and spacecraft attitude control. The course will also cover laboratory examples of ATP designs for military systems.

Included in degrees & certificates

  • 299


  • Knowledge of dynamics
  • control
  • consent of instructor

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the course, students will be able to: 

  • Review spacecraft kinematics and dynamics. 

  • Develop mathematical model for spacecraft with reaction wheels. 

  • Develop mathematical model for spacecraft with control moment gyroscopes. 

  • Analyze singularity of control moment gyroscope array. 

  • Review singularity avoidance methods for CMG array. 

  • Develop slew maneuver control design. 

  • Develop fine attitude control design for spacecraft pointing. 

  • Review optical beam control hardware. 

  • Develop active jitter control methods. 

  • Develop tracking methods for optical beam. 

  • Develop simple adaptive optics system design and control. 

  • Become familiar with large segmented mirror space telescope. 

Offerings database access
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Application Deadlines

  •  08 Jul 2024

    Fall Quarter applications due

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