Retour à Kinematics: Describing the Motions of Spacecraft

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The movement of bodies in space (like spacecraft, satellites, and space stations) must be predicted and controlled with precision in order to ensure safety and efficacy. Kinematics is a field that develops descriptions and predictions of the motion of these bodies in 3D space. This course in Kinematics covers four major topic areas: an introduction to particle kinematics, a deep dive into rigid body kinematics in two parts (starting with classic descriptions of motion using the directional cosine matrix and Euler angles, and concluding with a review of modern descriptors like quaternions and Classical and Modified Rodrigues parameters). The course ends with a look at static attitude determination, using modern algorithms to predict and execute relative orientations of bodies in space.
After this course, you will be able to...
* Differentiate a vector as seen by another rotating frame and derive frame dependent velocity and acceleration vectors
* Apply the Transport Theorem to solve kinematic particle problems and translate between various sets of attitude descriptions
* Add and subtract relative attitude descriptions and integrate those descriptions numerically to predict orientations over time
* Derive the fundamental attitude coordinate properties of rigid bodies and determine attitude from a series of heading measurements...

SM

Oct 19, 2017

Brilliant classes! Absolutely brilliant, enjoyed every bit of it. All you need is that you should love Physics and Maths to attend these classes. If you do, it is an enriching experience for you.

DA

Jun 03, 2019

if you are an aerospace engineering student and would like to get into orbital mechanics/ control and dynamics of satellites or celestial bodies, it's a decent course (series) to take.

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par Musab N A

•Feb 08, 2018

Great professor. The material is very focused on space systems, but can easily be used in other robotics applications

par Daniel d S

•Oct 16, 2017

A practically useful and wholly positive learning experience from a passionate professor. I am working as an engineer in the space industry already, and took this course to patch up some cloudy areas of understanding. I got quite the bang for my buck.

The material is taught in a style that leans towards applicable theory for the well-educated engineer. The videos are recordings of in-classroom lectures from UC Boulder, a university know for it's tight history of collaboration with NASA everywhere from Mars to Earth's outer Magnetosphere. In this course you will cover the necessary engineering physics to describe orbiting and rotating reference frames, attitude coordinate systems, and methods for determining spacecraft attitude from on-board sensors.

My educational background is from outside an aerospace engineering department, and I had no problem keeping up. I encourage not only aerospace engineers, but anyone working in space (scientists, programmers, operations personnel) to try this course.

par Samuel L

•May 03, 2020

Course material is great, Prof Schaub is an excellent lecturer, but one thing that makes this course disappointing is that neither himself nor his TA is ever around to interact with the course mates. I was expecting a bit more activity with the mentorship and some QNA, but all of the cross-checkings of work are between classmates (so it could be the case of the blind leading the blind really...) and we are pretty much left alone. This makes it no different than watching videos on our own on Khan Academy or Youtube (zero interaction really). Otherwise, the content and material is good and well structured. Disclaimer - this is grad level stuff, so make sure your linear algebra and calculus is pretty solid.

par Troy W

•Feb 25, 2018

Good way to teach the course.

Could have been better if the professor could stop the urge to use vectricx notation.

par Brian P

•Jun 27, 2017

This is a great course for working through the book, "Analytical Mechanics of Space Systems" that I've owned for many years but never got around to working through it at the level of detail involved in working through the problems on paper, instead of just in my head. Prof Schaub does an excellent job of filling in the gaps in the text and making it more understandable, but it does really, really help to have the book to work through along with the class. Even with a background in physics, math, and engineering, I immediately learned something new about how to solve kinematics problems that I should have known but didn't. The concept of generalized/canonical coordinate systems never made sense to me until this class, where for some reason the explanation just clicked and I knew how it worked like flipping a switch. That knowledge alone was worth the price of the certificate. Continuing on to work the follow-on courses and perhaps complete the specialization.

par Konstantinos

•Jul 28, 2018

The course is absolutely amazing! You can learn a huge amount of mathematics and applications in classical mechanics on these 4 weeks, which is crucial for me as a physicist, and there are a lot of challenging exercises so you can fully understand this. The only (for my point of view) disadvantage of this course is that in the last week you need to use/learn some programming skilles which I was not interested in learning (I only wanted to study the physics and math of this course even if programming is also useful in the field of physics).

par Kasper W

•Mar 04, 2019

The course is really nice. It gave me a good perspective of the coordinate systems used for attitude control and how they are good and bad in different contexts. It covered valuable topics in new and ongoing work done in the topic with a great lecturer that is engaging with the class.

The topics covered in attitude determination were also valuable and gave an insight in how attitude determination is done on spacecrafts through multiple sensors. Hopefully this knowledge will help in further classes.

par Pratik W

•Sep 13, 2017

Great Course! Given the advanced nature of this subject, Prof Schaub has successfully carved out an extremely neat course structure. His lectures provide valuable and clear insights into the concepts at play. The assignments are thorough and engaging as well. This course has already added substantial value to my background in Aerospace. I'm looking forward to enrolling in other similar courses!

par Andrew L P

•Mar 16, 2020

Professor Schaub is an excellent teacher. The concepts were well organized and delivered. Professor Schaub provided an intuitive understanding of the use of different coordinate systems that would be difficulty to develop from interacting with a textbook.

The coding assignments were worthwhile and helped cement my understanding of the concepts.

par CEDRIC T

•Nov 10, 2019

Excellent course, even for non specialist or space professional. High quality course that can become very hard, especially if you haven't been doing maths for a while. However , it's a high reward if you succeed the course with a good grade, as it demonstrates you can handle work intensive assignments and programming.

par Andrea M

•Jun 28, 2017

One of the best courses that I have ever done in coursera. Schaub can explain advanced concepts in a very pragmatic and easy-to-understand way. Suggested for professionals already with a Master degree's in Engineering, or student with solid basis of Geometry and Mathematical Programming (e.g. Matlab, Mathematica)

par Craig Z

•Jul 29, 2019

This a very difficult course but worth it if you put the time into it. This is an advanced graduate-level class and is relies heavily on previous concepts in physics, linear algebra, and calculus. Would not suggest taking it if you are not strong in all three.

par Mukesh K

•Aug 12, 2020

Lectures are great and professor method of teaching is superb i would highly recommend this course for space enthusiasts

par Tanseer H

•Jun 26, 2020

The course was difficult yet interesting and challenging. The instructor's teaching methodology is amazing.

par Nicolò C

•Apr 26, 2020

I really liked this course, the professor is really good at both explaining and deeply knowing the subject

par Shounak D

•Feb 04, 2018

Wish every Professor taught like this guy. Excellent. Fun course.Thank you !

par Clemens R

•Dec 27, 2018

Very good course! Few of the quizzes have the wrong answers marked as correct which can be confusing when learning the material (see the discussion forum for specifics).

par Aleksandr G

•May 05, 2019

Very useful compilation of attitude determination math. Could be applied in many engineering fields, not only spacecraft control.

Special thanks to lector Dr. H. Schaub. He is really know how to teach. I also recommend to visit he's web page, which is very useful.

http://hanspeterschaub.info/main.html_{}

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par Bruno G

•Apr 05, 2020

Very well explained and organized. the professor makes a very good resume of the book in his classes. It has a lot of practical references, despite it is not a programming course, there are a lot of references to "the code" and how to make it more efficient.

I really recommend this course.

par Doğuş C K

•Aug 31, 2020

I learned much about coordinate frames and had the opportunity to apply what I learned. Professor teaches so well that I am an electronics engineer and I even understood everything. Also, the parts that questions from students are answered were inspiring. Thanks for this amazing course.

par Gabriel N P S

•Sep 20, 2020

The contents of this course are throughly explained in a very didactic way by Prof. Schaub. Also, the assignments are well designed to help assimilate the knowledge. I truly feel that I am learning a new skill and I am eager to start the next module as soon as possible.

par Youssef S E

•Jul 16, 2020

Extremely educational, practical, and useful course, guided by a top-notch instructor from a top-class university, for all those aerospace engineers interested to pursue a career and/or already working in the field of spacecraft dynamics & AOCS/GNC. Thanks Dr. Schaub!.

par Andres M

•Sep 18, 2020

It is a very complete course with many useful examples and tasks that will definitely challenge the skills and methods acquired in class. Besides, the professor is always trying to relate all the conceps with real flight dynamics operations and historical events.

par Gabriel K K

•Jul 17, 2020

Very nice course, on a very good level, to students or professionals alike. Very useful approaches to attitude estimation, with algorithms that can be implemented in real time and describing the trade-offs between each different approach presented.

par Nishanth

•Jul 08, 2020

The course is beautifully designed. I thoroughly enjoyed this course. This was the toughest Coursera course I have ever taken and was definitely worth the effort. Thank you Prof. Schaub, TAs and my fellow learners for making this course amazing.

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