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Educational Tools For Systems Simulation And Laboratories Leading To The Capstone Design Sequence In Aerospace Engineering

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Undergraduate Aerospace Design – General Topics

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Page Count


Page Numbers

12.575.1 - 12.575.12



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Paper Authors


Karl Siebold Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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Currently an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott Arizona, where he teaches Spacecraft Systems Engineering and Spacecraft Capstone Design courses. Additionally he teaches Robotics, Thermodynamics, Space Mechanics, Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control, Control Systems Analysis and Design. He also taught at the Universities of Houston/Clear Lake, Colorado/Colorado Springs at the Johnson Space Center, and Texas A&M in Galveston space related graduate level Engineering and Physics as well as undergraduate level engineering sciences courses. He has more than ten years of experience as an engineer/scientist at the NASA Johnson Space Center in the areas of Space Debris research and Rendezvous Proximity Operations and Capture simulation.

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James Helbling Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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Currently an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering where he teaches structural analysis, computer aided design, and aircraft detail design courses. He has 21 years of industry experience with McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) and Northrop Grumman Corporation where he specialized in structural fatigue loading and served as manager of F-5/T-38 Engineering.

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Darin Marriott Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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Darin W. Marriott, Ph. D. Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Marriott is currently an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He teaches space propulsion systems, experimental space systems and computer aided design. His graduate research focused on plasma dynamics for space propulsion and his current research involves creation of linear induction catapults for researching high speed launch applications.

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Mischa Kim Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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Mischa Kim, Ph.D., Dipl.Ing. Currently an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle
Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. He teaches Control Systems, Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics
& Control, Space Mechanics, and Dynamics. His research interests lie in the field of nonlinear dynamics
and control with particular emphasis on spacecraft applications.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Educational Tools for Systems Simulation and Laboratories Leading to the Capstone Design Sequence in Aerospace Engineering


During the industrial product development cycle simulation has been playing an increasingly important role, not only during the preliminary design and analysis phases but also through the whole mission operations phase. In a typical university curriculum emphasis during the freshmen, sophomore, and junior years is put on the analysis of engineering problems. In the senior year students are expected to make a switch from analysis based coursework (one answer to an analysis problem) to design based curriculum (multiple answers to a design problem.) Simulation can play an important role to facilitate this transition. A modern curriculum should include teaching the necessary computer tools during early classes, where the student can build course content specific models (for example a thermal model) and save them for later usage in the design classes. At the same time the curriculum should offer a laboratory experience, which validates and fortifies the material. Therefore it is essential to integrate computer- based simulations with hardware interface into the curriculum in a systematic manner. It is clear that computer-based simulation and analysis is indispensable in engineering science and design. A curriculum is being developed in which analysis methods are synchronized with a core set of software tools. Instruction in these tools will be geared towards teaching students how to use these sophisticated tools. It will also emphasize how to understand and interpret the results using experimental, theoretical and numerical concepts. By combining analysis, simulation, and hardware interfaces students will have a coherent reinforcement of concepts in order to improve their computing skills while at the same time strengthening their grasp of the fundamentals.


During the Program/Project Life Cycle of any sophisticated and financially demanding project, simulation plays a dominant role not only in the development, but also in the operations/maintenance phases. However, in order to intelligently make use of the multitude of simulation products available one has to achieve a fundamental understanding of the driving concepts of simulation, which is numerical integration. For this purpose a curriculum timeline has been developed at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, which tries to parallel NASA’s Program/Project Lifecycle /1/. Since the curriculum leads into the capstone design sequence, a schematic displaying the different project phases

Siebold, K., & Helbling, J., & Marriott, D., & Kim, M. (2007, June), Educational Tools For Systems Simulation And Laboratories Leading To The Capstone Design Sequence In Aerospace Engineering Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2183

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