2023-2024 / AERO0018-3

Space experiment development


26h Th, 26h Pr

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Aerospace Engineering5 crédits 
 Master in space sciences (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Denis Grodent, Jerôme Loicq

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Chapter 1: From scientific requirement to instrument specifications
Chapter 2: Space environment and effects on spacecraft
Chapter 3: Mechanical conception
Chapter 4: Thermal design and management
Chapter 5: Detector and Camera
Chapter 6: Optical design
Chapter 7: Instrument calibration and GSE
Chapter 8: Ground segment, data handling, inverse model
Chapter 9: Instrument development - Phases/Risk/ Quality control

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Understand the concept of space flights and why going to space.
Develop views and capabilities on space system engineering.
Understand the constrains of space experiment .
Understand the space environment and impacts on instrument development
Become aware of unique space applications (already existing + under development).
Get acquainted with specific Space Technologies.
Develop awareness of characteristic numbers and costs.
Develop ability to make simple calculations - understand the order of magnitude.
Be ready to be involved into space development team.
Get acquainted on project management and risk management.
Ready to be creative in a very constrained environment.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

To acquire more easily the notions of the course, it is recommended (but not required) that the student has the prerequisites

  • Heat transfer
  • Vibration theory
  • Satellite design
  • Astrodynamics, celestial mechanics
  • Optical Design
For information, the corresponding courses taught at ULg are:
  • "Transfers of heat and matter," Prof. X
  • "Dynamics of mechanical systems" Prof. J-C. Golinval
  • "Theory of vibrations," Prof. J-C Golinval
  • "Design of satellites," Prof. G. Kerschen
  • "Astrodynamics" Prof. G. Kerschen
  • "Instrumental optics", Prof. S. Habraken

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

face to face
Hybrid in the frame of COVID issues

Recommended or required readings

Following books could be useful for  additional information :
« Spacecraft Systems Engineering », P.Fortescue, J.Stark, G.Swinerd
« Cours de technologie spatiale: Techniques & Technologies des Véhicules Spatiaux » CNES
" Handbook of Space Technology" Wilfried Ley/Klaus Wittmann/Willi Hallmann (Editors)
« Spacecraft Thermal Control Handbook, Vol I : Fundamental Technologies », D.G Gilmore
« Principles of Space Instrument Design », A.M. Cruise, J.A. Bowles, T.J. Patrick, C.V. Goodall
« Spacecraft Structures », J.J Wijker
« Vibration Analysis for Electronic Equipments », D.S Steinberg
« Electronic Imaging in Astronomy ; «Detectors and Instrumentation» Ian s. McLean
« Observing Photons in Space » M.C.E. Huber, A. Pauluhn, J.L. Culhane, et al. Eds.
« Astronomical Optics » Daniel J. Schroeder
« Principles of Optics » Max Born & Emil Wolf
« L'observation en Astrophysique » Pierre Léna, Daniel Rouan,

The final rating of the course is based on:

-70% Oral exam: open questions
- 30% collective work: This work is based on CDF approach (Concurrent Design Facility). 20% will be based on personal inputs and 20% on group inputs.

Work placement(s)

Internships and TFE directly related to different aspects of the courses are regularly proposed at CSL

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The lecture is given in the second quadrimester. The lecture room will be provided as soon as possible. Some session will be dedicated to visit "Space center of Liège". 
The slides presented during the lecture will be provided at the end of each chapter.


Professor : Jérôme Loicq, Centre Spatial de Liège, University of Liège, Belgium. j.loicq@ulg.ac.be , Tel: +3243824646
Library and Intership Management : Florence Defraigne. fdefraigne@ulg.ac.be  +3243824600 ext 612

Association of one or more MOOCs