2023-2024 / AERO0025-1

Satellite engineering


52h Th

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Aerospace Engineering5 crédits 


Gaëtan Kerschen

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course introduces you to spacecraft systems engineering. It presents the fundamental subsystems of a satellite, including propulsion, electrical power, structure, thermal control, attitude control and telecommunications, and analyzes the engineering trades necessary to integrate subsystems successfully into the satellite. Instructors from both academia and industry (Thales Alenia Space, Spacebel, Centre Spatial de Liège, VEOWARE, Arcsec) deliver lectures in this course.




Learning outcomes of the learning unit

- Obtain a global picture of spacecraft design.

- Learn the main functionalities and design challenges associated with the different subsystems that compose a satellite.

- Identify interactions between satellite subsystems and get familiar with the inherently multidisciplinary aspect of spacecraft design.

This course contributes to the learning outcomes I.1, II.1, III.3, IV.3, VI.1, VII.4, VII.5 of the MSc in aerospace engineering.


Prerequisite knowledge and skills


Planned learning activities and teaching methods

No project in this course

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

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

1st semester



Recommended or required readings

Textbook: P. Fortescue, J. Stark, G. Swinerd, Spacecraft Systems Engineering, 3rd edition, 2003.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam

Additional information:

The final grade will be based upon written examination.
The written examination requires both a thorough knowledge and fundamental understanding of the material presented during the lectures. The exam will be closed book.

Exam in August: same








Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Gaetan Kerschen, g.kerschen@uliege.be


Association of one or more MOOCs