On the way of becoming an aerospace engineer at the Technische Universität Dresden, students have to take the seminar “Space Mission Design”.
The goal of the course is to learn about different design approaches commonly used for space systems and develop the preliminary design study for a given space mission concept.
This year, the task was to design a moon base, following the AIAA space systems design competition 2020. The complexity of such a task requires a lot of teamwork. During the seminar, the concurrent design concept is being utilized. This means students work in teams of two on different subsystems of the mission. This happens in a collaborative way together in one room with all the other subsystems. Communications and instant updates on changes are of great importance. The prime example for our Mission, the moon base for AIAA, is space transportation. Nearly every subsystem requires physical objects with mass and volume to be transported to the moon. The subsystem “Space Transportation” needs to know these variables to evaluate feasible launchers and deduct i.e. transit times, launch costs and other parameters. But those masses and volumes of all other subsystems are constantly changing, so it’s necessary for Space Transportation to be kept updated.
A suitable software solution is critical for accomplishing this task. For this task, we were introduced to the dedicated Valispace Software during a workshop, which is tailor-made for workloads like this. All team members work on a single dataset and progress of other subsystems is accessible in real-time for everybody on the team.
“Interfaces and connections between subsystems are easy to understand and changes in data are distributed automatically.”
The process of defining requirements is straight forward. Requirements are also automatically checked by the software, based on provided data.
“In general, Valispace makes working in big teams easy and intuitive.”
Although it is still in development, Valispace already features a multitude of functionalities critical for an effective concurrent Design approach. Even starting to understand the design processes, Valispace was of great support for our class to come up with a first sound design concept during the workshop.