ENAE 484
Space Systems Design
Spring, 2003


("Deliverables" is tech-speak for those things you are expected to produce during the course of a contract. "Deliverables" in this context is the set of everything you have to do to maximize your educational return from this class, produce the best possible team effort on the final project, and just incidentally get a good grade in this class...)

Basic Efforts (throughout the class):
Show up to every class, and participate fully and enthusiastically. Keep the effort focused and quantitative (remember, if you can't say it with numbers, it's an opinion, not a fact.)

Status Reports (throughout the class):
During classes, the instructors may choose to spend all or some of the class time receiving informal status reports on your contributions to the project. These may be arranged ahead of time, or individuals or groups may be selected without notice. It is expected that these status reports will be concise, informative, and (to the extent possible) quantitative.

Trade Study Summary Review (Feb. 13):
This will be an in-class review of the status of all trade studies and preliminary analyses relating to the design. Group by group, you should present the current status of all design processes you are currently doing, or plan to do. Based on your initial studies, what are the important issues? What are the options you need to consider? How will you be analyzing and selecting between options? This is an early opportunity to get a good picture of what everyone in the class is doing, and a starting point for the "strawman" design of the PDR.

Preliminary Design Review (Mar. 6):
The class will prepare and present a formal three-hour Preliminary Design Review. This will take place in the evening, and outside guests may be invited to attend and participate in questioning and critiquing the class. Everyone in class will participate by giving a portion of the oral presentation. The class will provide collated paper copies of all vugraphs to be shown to the teaching staff and other invited guests at the start of the oral review. The viewgraph package as presented in the PDR will also be made available to the instructors in electronic format for posting on the class external web site.

PDR Content: All trade studies should be completed, and results shown to demonstrate the technical underpinnings of the design selected. This presentation should include a detailed "strawman" design - that is, a design that everyone understands and works towards. It may (almost certainly will) change as the term progresses, but everyone needs to have a solid design to base ongoing analysis on.

Draft Report (Mar. 20):
This is a first draft of the final report of the class. Since there is one unified final report, this first draft process is critical for making sure that all the bases are covered, that everyone is working on the same design, etc. There will be sections you haven't finished yet, so it's okay to just label them "TBD" (to be determined), but you can't get by TBDing everything! The most critical aspect of the draft report is the outline, with placeholders for things that haven't been done yet. Each section (whether it's written or TBD) should have the name of the person who's responsible for that section, and who will author that section in the final report. It's also important to make sure that the contents of the draft report cover all of the elements of the Work Breakdown Structure that the instructors have given you.

Critical Design Review (Apr. 17):
Like the PDR, but the designs should be solidifying, the subsystems should be taking shape, all graphics getting higher fidelity, etc. This should ideally be the completion of the design process, and the last few weeks spent getting the final report written and formatted. This year, the process is complicated by a formal design review to NASA at the Kennedy Space Center, currently scheduled for April 29-May 1.

RASCAL Written Report (~Apr. 25):
The class will prepare a formal summary report for the project, adhering to the specifications of the NASA RASCAL (Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concept - Academic Liason) program. This report will be submitted on time to NASA for evaluation as part of our participation in the program.

RASCAL Presentation Package (~Apr. 28):
The class will prepare a presentation package for a TBD-length presentation at the RASCAL conference on Apr. 29-May 1, 2003. A team of students will be selected to travel to Florida and present the presentation at the RASCAL conference (and, if the schedule works out, watch a shuttle launch).

RASCAL Poster Presentation (~Apr. 28):
The class will prepare a poster presentation for display at the RASCAL conference. This will fit on a 48 inch square board, and will present the results of the class design in a technically accurate and visually appealing manner.

Final Report (May 13):
Everything is done, everything is written up in clear and correct English, graphs are correctly created and labeled, drawings are clear and detailed (and dimensioned!), all of the report is in a consistent format, and both hard copies and media copies are turned in to me on time. This should be a concise, but detailed, compendium of all of the technical work you have done over the past 14 weeks. At the end of the class, the final report will be transferred from class computers to a pernament web server, and formally published for the world to see.

Every year, somebody asks "How long should my part of the final report be?" There is no page requirement, and if there were two reports with the same amount of information, a three-page report, concise and well-written, will get much better grades than a rambling and "fluffy" 10-page report. Having said that, let me point out that a 14-week long 3-credit course implies 126 hours of work over the course of the term. If you can document 126 hours of work in only 3-4 pages, it seems to me that something is badly wrong...