Sunday, 27 July 2008

Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering at MIT

Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering

Arip Nurahman
Department of Physics
Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics, Indonesia University of Education


Follower Open Course Ware at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, USA
Department of Physics
Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering

Professors, students, and researchers come to MIT from all corners of the globe to explore their passion for air and space travel and to advance the technologies and vehicles that make such travel possible.

We build on our long tradition of scholarship and research to develop and implement reliable, safe, economically feasible, and environmentally responsible air and space travel.

Our industry contributions and collaborations are extensive. We have graduated more astronauts than any other private institution in the world. Nearly one-third of our current research collaborations are with MIT faculty in other departments, and approximately one-half are with non-MIT colleagues in professional practice, government agencies, and other universities. We work closely with scientists and scholars at NASA, Boeing, the U.S. Air Force, Stanford University, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Our educational programs are organized around three overlapping areas:

Aerospace information engineering

Focuses on real-time, safety-critical systems with humans-in-the-loop. Core disciplines include autonomy, software, communications, networks, controls, and human-machine and human-software interaction.

Aerospace systems engineering

Explores the central processes in the creation, implementation, and operation of complex socio-technical engineering systems. Core disciplines include system architecture and engineering, simulation and modeling, safety and risk management, policy, economics, and organizational behavior.

Aerospace vehicles engineering

Addresses the engineering of air and space vehicles, their propulsion systems, and their subsystems. Core disciplines include fluid and solid mechanics, thermodynamics, acoustics, combustion, controls, computation, design, and simulation.

Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics links

Visit the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics home page at:
Review the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics curriculum at:
Learn more about MIT Engineering:

Updated within the past 180 days
MIT Course #Course TitleTerm

16.120Compressible FlowSpring 2003

16.13Aerodynamics of Viscous FluidsFall 2003

16.225Computational Mechanics of MaterialsFall 2003
16.230JPlates and ShellsSpring 2007
16.31Feedback Control SystemsFall 2007

16.322Stochastic Estimation and ControlFall 2004

16.323Principles of Optimal ControlSpring 2006

16.333Aircraft Stability and ControlFall 2004

16.337JDynamics of Nonlinear SystemsFall 2003

16.355JSoftware Engineering ConceptsFall 2005

16.358JSystem SafetySpring 2005

16.37JData Communication NetworksFall 2002

16.394JInfinite Random Matrix TheoryFall 2004

16.399Random Matrix Theory and Its ApplicationsSpring 2004

16.410Principles of Autonomy and Decision MakingFall 2005

16.412JCognitive RoboticsSpring 2005

16.413Principles of Autonomy and Decision MakingFall 2005

16.422Human Supervisory Control of Automated SystemsSpring 2004

16.423JAerospace Biomedical and Life Support EngineeringSpring 2006

16.512Rocket PropulsionFall 2005

16.522Space PropulsionSpring 2004

16.540Internal Flows in TurbomachinesSpring 2006

16.72Air Traffic ControlFall 2006

16.75JAirline ManagementSpring 2006

16.76JLogistical and Transportation Planning MethodsFall 2004

16.76JLogistical and Transportation Planning MethodsFall 2006

16.77JAirline Schedule PlanningSpring 2003

16.851Satellite EngineeringFall 2003

16.852JIntegrating the Lean EnterpriseFall 2005

16.862Engineering Risk-Benefit AnalysisSpring 2007

16.863JSystem SafetySpring 2005

16.881Robust System DesignSummer 1998

16.885JAircraft Systems EngineeringFall 2004

16.885JAircraft Systems EngineeringFall 2005

16.886Air Transportation Systems ArchitectingSpring 2004

16.888Multidisciplinary System Design OptimizationSpring 2004

16.891JSpace Policy SeminarSpring 2003

16.892JSpace System Architecture and DesignFall 2004

16.895JEngineering Apollo: The Moon Project as a Complex SystemSpring 2007
16.89JSpace Systems EngineeringSpring 2007

16.910JIntroduction to Numerical Simulation (SMA 5211)Fall 2003

16.920JNumerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations (SMA 5212)Spring 2003

16.940JComputational GeometrySpring 2003

16.985JProseminar in ManufacturingFall 2005

Lebih Fokus lagi.

1. Introduction to Aerospace Engineering and Design


This syllabus include information on the topics covered, texts used, and the rules and policies of the course.
8.01 and 18.01
Course Requirements

Dava Newman. Interactive Aerospace Engineering and Design. McGraw-Hill, 2002.

Class Participation

Your questions and comments are extremely valuable. Since the lecture material is available ahead of time from the textbook and on the Web, there will be more time in lecture to discuss (in seminar style) the material rather than spending the entire 90 minutes copying the lecture notes from a blackboard. Discussions during class time are highly encouraged to fill gaps in the lecture material, to guide the pace of the class, and for you to enquire about the meaning, relevance, and importance of lecture material.


Students are required to compile a portfolio containing notes, brainstorming ideas, concepts, sketches and final designs. This comprehensive notebook, or Personal Design Portfolio (PDP), is due toward the end of the term (See syllabus). A recommended template is provided for developing your PDP (See CD-ROM). The intent is to promote good note taking habits as an aid to understanding the material, to put your creativity down on paper and the computer, to help me assess what you are picking up in the lectures, and to grade your individual contributions to your design teams. In sum, the PDP presents a concise snapshot of what you learn throughout the entire semester and emphasizes your individual contributions.

Problem Sets

All assignments are given on the syllabus homepage. Homework assignments include traditional problems, thought problems, design problems and Web-based presentations (Preliminary Design Review (PDR), and Critical Design Review (CDR).

Lighter-than-Air (LTA) Vehicle Design Project

Teams of 5-6 students each would design, build, and race a remote controlled, lighter-than-air vehicle. The teams compete in their ability to carry the largest payload around a specified course in the minimum amount of time. The designs are judged on their equivalent mass/time. LTA vehicles are also judged in the categories of most reliable and most aesthetic designs. All designs are constrained to have a gross mass of less than 1.75 kg. A project kit is provided consisting of radio control equipment, batteries, balloons, electric motors, and construction materials.
Performance will be evaluated on the basis of class participation, reading summaries, problem sets, personal design portfolio submissions, and the LTA vehicle design project. There will be no tests or final exam. The final grade for the course will be calculated approximately as follows:
  • Problem Sets and Reading Summaries 30%
  • Student Personal Design Portfolio 15%
  • LTA Design Project 45% (including PDR, CDR, Trials and Race)
  • Attendance, Participation, General Evaluation 10%
Problem Set Solutions
Solutions will be posted one week after problem sets are due.
There will be occasional handouts in lectures. It is expected that regular attendance in lecture will offer the opportunity to pick up these handouts.
A Note on Submission of Work

The manner in which you present your work can be just as important (and in some cases more so) than the final answer. Be sure to delineate each step along the way. Show a clear and logical approach to your solution. That makes your problem sets a better reference to you and easier for us to give you partial credit (if so deserving).

2. Unified Engineering I, II, III, & IV



Unified Engineering is the sophomore-level engineering course taken by every undergraduate who joins the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. Many different engineering fields are introduced in a unified format, so that the systemic nature of aerospace engineering can be illustrated. Students who complete two semesters of Unified Engineering learn that even small changes to an aerospace design carry implications for the entire system.


Unified Engineering is itself a complex system. It employs many different activities, pedagogies and technologies. The goals, requirements and logistics of the course are summarized below:
Unified Engineering Course Facts (PDF)

Learning Objectives

All courses taught in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics disclose a set of learning objectives and measurable outcomes. Learning objectives describe the expected level of proficiency with syllabus topics that a student should attain. To complement the learning objectives, measurable outcomes describe specific ways in which students may be expected to demonstrate such proficiency. Major syllabus topics for each discipline are organized into learning objectives in the table below. The abbreviations provided below are used throughout the course site to refer to the various disciplines.

Computers and Programming C 16.01-02, Fall (PDF)
Fluid Mechanics F 16.01-04, Fall-Spring (PDF)
Materials and Structures M 16.01-04, Fall-Spring (PDF)
Signals and Systems S 16.01-02, Fall (PDF)

16.03-04, Spring (PDF)
Systems and Labs S/L 16.01-02, Fall (PDF)


16.01-02, Fall (PDF)

16.03-04, Spring (PDF)
Unified Concepts U

Discipline Section Organization

Each discipline in Unified Engineering is presented on a separate section of the course site. In order to maintain organization and consistency across the sections, the content has been organized into the discipline tables with the following standard column headings:

Lec #

Lecture number. Refer to the calendar section for more details on how each lecture session fits into the overall course schedule.


Summary of main topics covered during the lecture session. Lecture notes or slides from each lecture are linked here.

Concept Questions

Multiple choice questions posed to students throughout the lecture session. Students register a response using a Personal Response System ("PRS") transmitter. Questions are typically designed to evaluate conceptual understanding, and to be completed in 1-5 minutes. Faculty can see the class' results immediately.

Muddy Points

Responses to "Muddiest Part of the Lecture" cards. At the end of each lecture, students are asked to spend 5 minutes thinking about which of the topics presented was least clear. They write them on index cards and submit them as they leave. Faculty review and respond to "Muddy Points" in the next lecture and/or online.


Reading assignments for the lecture. These may be from published textbooks, or linked resources. For some disciplines, the instructor's notes are assigned as readings to be completed before the lecture, so they are linked in this column. Optional readings appear in parentheses, e.g., sec. 1.1-1.4, (1.5).

Assignments / Solutions

Work to be completed by students. Each lecture has one associated problem. The problem and its solution are linked in both the section table and in the assignments section. Systems and Labs assignments, or "Systems Problems", are larger in scope than individual problem set problems, and may be project-based or lab-based.

Handouts / Supporting Files

Supplemental materials distributed to class, related to the lecture problem set or systems problem.

Thursday, 24 July 2008


An atmosphere (New Latin atmosphaera, created in the 17th century from Greek ἀτμός [atmos] "vapor" and σφαῖρα [sphaira] "sphere") is a layer of gases that may surround a material body of sufficient mass, and that is held in place by the gravity of the body. An atmosphere may be retained for a longer duration, if the gravity is high and the atmosphere's temperature is low. Some planets consist mainly of various gases, but only their outer layer is their atmosphere.

The term stellar atmosphere describes the outer region of a star, and typically includes the portion starting from the opaque photosphere outwards. Relatively low-temperature stars may form compound molecules in their outer atmosphere. Earth's atmosphere, which contains oxygen used by most organisms for respiration and carbon dioxide used by plants, algae and cyanobacteria for photosynthesis, also protects living organisms from genetic damage by solar ultraviolet radiation. Its current composition is the product of billions of years of biochemical modification of the paleoatmosphere by living organisms.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Indonesian Space Tourism Society

Space tourism is the recent phenomenon of tourists paying for flights into space pioneered by Russia.
As of 2008, orbital space tourism opportunities are limited and expensive, with only the Russian Space Agency providing transport. The price for a flight brokered by Space Adventures to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft is now $20 million. Flights are fully booked until 2009.
Among the primary attractions of space tourism are the uniqueness of the experience, the thrill and awe of looking at Earth from space, the experience's notion as an exclusive status symbol, and various advantages of weightlessness. The space tourism industry is being targeted by spaceports in numerous locations, including California, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, Alaska, Wisconsin, Esrange in Sweden as well as the United Arab Emirates. Some use the term "personal spaceflight" as in the case of the Personal Spaceflight Federation.


Friday, 18 July 2008

Theoretical Astrophysics

Add and Edited By:
Arip Nurahman
Indonesia University of Education
Follower Open Course Ware at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.

from: Wikipedia International

Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties (luminosity, density, temperature, and chemical composition) of celestial objects such as stars, galaxies, and the interstellar medium, as well as their interactions. The study of cosmology is theoretical astrophysics at scales much larger than the size of particular gravitationally-bound objects in the universe.

Because astrophysics is a very broad subject, astrophysicists typically apply many disciplines of physics, including mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, relativity, nuclear and particle physics, and atomic and molecular physics. In practice, modern astronomical research involves a substantial amount of physics.

The name of a university's department ("astrophysics" or "astronomy") often has to do more with the department's history than with the contents of the programs. Astrophysics can be studied at the bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. levels in aerospace engineering, physics, or astronomy departments at many universities.


Founded in 1983, the Fermilab Theoretical Astrophysics Group consists of approximately 15 theoretical astrophysicists who perform research at the confluence of astrophysics, cosmology, and particle physics. The group is partially funded by a NASA Astrophysics Theory grant. Since its inception, the group has prepared over 1000 papers for publication.

Fermi National Laboratory

Theoretical Astrophysics


Wilson Hall 6 West
Fermilab, P.O. Box 500
Batavia, IL 60510, USA

Phone (630) 840-3758
Fax (630) 840-8231

Security, Privacy, Legal
Office of Science
Searching for Strong Lenses ...
workshop @ Fermilab June 13-14, 2007.

Our weekly journal club or Munch takes place every Monday at 12:30PM in the conference room on 6W. Join us!
Welcome to the Theoretical Astrophysics Center at the University of California, Berkeley
The Theoretical Astrophysics Center includes faculty, research scientists, postdoctoral researchers, and students working on a wide variety of problems in theoretical astrophysics. Our specialties include cosmology, planetary dynamics, the interstellar medium, star and planet formation, and compact objects. If you have any questions, feel free to contact anyone in our group by email. If you have a general inquiry, however, please first try Natasha Singh, the TAC's Administrative Assistant, at

Visitor Information
Maps, Housing, Environs
Astronomy Department
Physics Department
Center for Theoretical Physics
Center for Integrative Planetary Science

Lihat Juga:

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Exploding Wire

A physics lab demonstration.

Thursday, 10 July 2008




An atmosphere (from Greek ατμός - atmos, "vapor" + σφαίρα - sphaira, "sphere") is a layer of gases that may surround a material body of sufficient mass,[1] by the gravity of the body, and are retained for a longer duration if gravity is high and the atmosphere's temperature is low. Some planets consist mainly of various gases, and therefore have very deep atmospheres (see gas giants).

The term stellar atmosphere is used for the outer region of a star, and typically includes the portion starting from the opaque photosphere outwards. Relatively low-temperature stars may form compound molecules in their outer atmosphere. Earth's atmosphere, which contains oxygen used by most organisms for respiration and carbon dioxide used by plants, algae and cyanobacteria for photosynthesis, also protects living organisms from genetic damage by solar ultraviolet radiation. Its current composition is the product of billions of years of biochemical modification of the paleoatmosphere by living organisms.

What Is Atmosphere?

The atmosphere is the mixture of gases and other materials that surround the Earth in a thin, mostly transparent shell. It is held in place by the Earth's gravity. The main components are nitrogen (78.09%), oxygen (20.95%), argon (0.93%), and carbon dioxide (0.03%). The atmosphere also contains small amounts, or traces, of water (in local concentrations ranging from 0% to 4%), solid particles, neon, helium, methane, krypton, hydrogen, xenon and ozone. The study of the atmosphere is called meteorology.
Life on Earth would not be possible without the atmosphere. Obviously, it provides the oxygen we need to breath. But it also serves other important functions. It moderates the planet's temperature, reducing the extremes that occur on airless worlds. For example, temperatures on the moon range from 120 °C (about 250 °F) in the day to -170 °C (about -275 °F) at night. The atmosphere also protects us by absorbing and scattering harmful radiation from the sun and space. 

Of the total amount of the sun's energy that reaches the Earth, 30% is reflected back into space by clouds and the Earth's surface. The atmosphere absorbs 19%. Only 51% is absorbed by the Earth's surface. 

We are not normally aware of it but air does have weight. The column of air above us exerts pressure on us. This pressure at sea level is defined as one atmosphere. Other equivalent measurements you may hear used are 1,013 millibars, 760 mm Hg (mercury), 29.92 inches of Hg, or 14.7 pounds/square inch (psi). Atmospheric pressure decreases rapidly with height. Pressure drops by a factor of 10 for every 16 km (10 miles) increase in altitude. This means that the pressure is 1 atmosphere at sea level, but 0.1 atmosphere at 16 km and only 0.01 atmosphere at 32 km. 

The density of the lower atmosphere is about 1 kg/cubic meter (1 oz./cubic foot). There are approximately 300 billion billion (3 x 10**20, or a 3 followed by 20 zeros) molecules per cubic inch (16.4 cubic centimeters). At ground level, each molecule is moving at about 1600 km/hr (1000 miles/hr), and collides with other molecules 5 billion times per second. 

The density of air also decreases rapidly with altitude. At 3 km (2 miles) air density has decreased by 30%. People who normally live closer to sea level experience temporary breathing difficulties when traveling to these altitudes. The highest permanent human settlements are at about 4 km (3 miles).

Layers of The Atmosphere

The atmosphere is divided into layers based on temperature, composition and electrical properties. These layers are approximate and the boundaries vary, depending on the seasons and latitude. (The boundaries also depend on which "authority" is defining them.)

Layers Based On Composition
· The lowest 100 km (60 miles), including the Troposphere, Stratosphere and Mesosphere.
· Contains 99% of the atmosphere's mass. 

· Molecules do not stratify by molecular weight. 

· Although small local variations exist, it has a relatively uniform composition, due to continuous mixing, turbulence and eddy diffusion. 

· Water is one of two components that is not equally distributed. As water vapor rises, it cools and condenses, returning to earth as rain and snow. The Stratosphere is extremely dry.
· Ozone is another molecule not equally distributed. (Read about the ozone layer in the Stratosphere section below.) 

· Extends above homosphere, including the Thermosphere and Exosphere. 

·Stratified (components are separated in layers) based on molecular weight. The heavier molecules, like nitrogen and oxygen, are concentrated in the lowest levels. The lighter ones, helium and hydrogen, predominate higher up.

Layers based On Electrical Properties
Neutral atmosphere
· Below about 100 km (60 miles) 

· Above about 100 km
· Contains electrically charged particles or ions, created by the absorption of UV (ultraviolet) light.
· The degree of ionization varies with altitude.
· Different layers reflect long and short radio waves. This allows radio signals to be sent around the curved surface of the earth.
· The Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis (the Northern and Southern Lights) occur in this layer.

The Magnetosphere is the upper part of the ionosphere, extending out to 64,000 km (40,000 miles.) It protects us from the high energy, electrically charged particles of the solar wind, which are trapped by the Earth's magnetic field.

Layers Based On Temperature

Troposphere - Height depends on the seasons and latitude. It extends from ground level up to about 16 km (10 miles) at the equator, and to 9 km (5 miles) at the North and South Poles.
· The prefix "tropo" means change. Changing conditions in the Troposphere result in our weather.
· Temperature decreases with increasing altitude. Warm air rises, then cools and falls back to Earth. This process is called convection, and results in huge movements of air. Winds in this layer are mostly vertical.
· Contains more air molecules than all the other layers combined. 

Stratosphere - Extends out to about 50 km (30 miles)
· The air is very thin.
· The prefix "strato" is related to layers, or stratification.
· The bottom of this layer is calm. Jet planes often fly in the lower Stratosphere to avoid bad weather in the Troposphere.
· The upper part of the Stratosphere holds the high winds known as the jet streams. These blow horizontally at speeds up to 480 km/hour (300 miles/hour)
· Contains the "ozone layer" located between 15 - 40 km ( 10 - 25 miles) above the surface. Although the concentration of ozone is at most 12 parts per million (ppm), it is very effective at absorbing the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun and protecting life on Earth. Ozone is a molecule made of three oxygen atoms. The oxygen molecule we need to breathe contains two oxygen atoms.
· The temperature is cold, about -55 °C (-67 °F) in the lower part, and increases with increasing altitude. The increase is caused by the absorption of UV radiation by the oxygen and ozone.
· The temperature increase with altitude results in a layering effect. It creates a global "inversion layer", and reduces vertical convection. 

Mesosphere - Extends out to about 100 km (65 miles)
· Temperature decreases rapidly with increasing altitude. 

Thermosphere - Extends out to about 400 km ( 250 miles)
· Temperature increases rapidly with increasing altitude, due to absorption of extremely short wavelength UV radiation.
· Meteors, or "shooting stars," start to burn up around 110-130 km (70-80 miles) above the earth. 

Exosphere -Extends beyond the Thermosphere hundreds of kilometers, gradually fading into interstellar space.
· Density of the air is so low that the normal concept of temperature loses its meaning.
· Molecules often escape into space after colliding with one another.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Space Math V Educator Guide

Audience: Educators
Grades: 9-12

These activities comprise a series of 87 practical mathematics applications in space science. This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of problems distributed to teachers during the 2008-2009 school year. The problems in this booklet investigate space phenomena, space travel and mathematics applications such as planetary nebulae, collapsing gas clouds, space shuttle launch trajectory, evaluating functions, and differentiation. The problems are authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. Each word problem includes background information. The one-page assignments are accompanied by one-page teachers answer keys.

Space Math V  [9MB PDF file]

More booklets in this series:
Space Math I
Space Math II
Space Math III
Space Math IV
Space Math VI
Space Math VII
Astrobiology Math
Black Hole Math
Earth Math
Electromagnetic Math
Image Scale Math
Lunar Math
Magnetic Math
Radiation Math
Remote Sensing Math
Solar Math
Space Weather Math
Transit Math
Source: NASA

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Teknik Penerbangan Luar Angkasa dan Astrofisika

Astrophysics and Aerospace Engineering
(Teknik Penerbangan Luar Angkasa dan Astrofisika)

Add & Edited By:

Arip Nurahman

Department of Physics,
Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics
Indonesia University of Education
Follower Open Course Ware at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.

Aerospace engineering is the branch of engineering behind the design, construction and science of aircraft and spacecraft. Aerospace engineering has broken into two major and overlapping branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering. The former deals with craft that stay within Earth's atmosphere, and the latter deals with craft that operate outside of Earth's atmosphere. While "aeronautical" was the original term, the broader "aerospace" has superseded it in usage, as flight technology advanced to include craft operating in outer space.[1] Aerospace engineering is often informally called rocket science.



Modern flight vehicles undergo severe conditions such as differences in atmospheric pressure and temperature, or heavy structural load applied upon vehicle components. Consequently, they are usually the products of various technologies including aerodynamics, avionics, materials science and propulsion. These technologies are collectively known as aerospace engineering. Because of the complexity of the field, aerospace engineering is conducted by a team of engineers, each specializing in their own branches of science.,[2] The development and manufacturing of a flight vehicle demands careful balance and compromise between abilities, design, available technology and costs.


See also: List of aerospace engineering topics
Some of the elements of aerospace engineering are:[5][6]
  • Fluid mechanics - the study of fluid flow around objects. Specifically aerodynamics concerning the flow of air over bodies such as wings or through objects such as wind tunnels (see also lift and aeronautics).
  • Astrodynamics - the study of orbital mechanics including prediction of orbital elements when given a select few variables. While few schools in the United States teach this at the undergraduate level, several have graduate programs covering this topic (usually in conjunction with the Physics department of said college or university).
  • Statics and Dynamics (engineering mechanics) - the study of movement, forces, moments in mechanical systems.
  • Mathematics - because aerospace engineering heavily involves mathematics.
  • Electrotechnology - the study of electronics within engineering.
  • Propulsion - the energy to move a vehicle through the air (or in outer space) is provided by internal combustion engines, jet engines and turbomachinery, or rockets (see also propeller and spacecraft propulsion). A more recent addition to this module is electric propulsion and ion propulsion.
  • Control engineering - the study of mathematical modeling of the dynamic behavior of systems and designing them, usually using feedback signals, so that their dynamic behavior is desirable (stable, without large excursions, with minimum error). This applies to the dynamic behavior of aircraft, spacecraft, propulsion systems, and subsystems that exist on aerospace vehicles.
  • Aircraft structures - design of the physical configuration of the craft to withstand the forces encountered during flight. Aerospace engineering aims to keep structures lightweight.
  • Materials science - related to structures, aerospace engineering also studies the materials of which the aerospace structures are to be built. New materials with very specific properties are invented, or existing ones are modified to improve their performance.
  • Solid mechanics - Closely related to material science is solid mechanics which deals with stress and strain analysis of the components of the vehicle. Nowadays there are several Finite Element programs such as MSC Patran/Nastran which aid engineers in the analytical process.
  • Aeroelasticity - the interaction of aerodynamic forces and structural flexibility, potentially causing flutter, divergence, etc.
  • Avionics - the design and programming of computer systems on board an aircraft or spacecraft and the simulation of systems.
  • Risk and reliability - the study of risk and reliability assessment techniques and the mathematics involved in the quantitative methods.
  • Noise control - the study of the mechanics of sound transfer.
  • Flight test - designing and executing flight test programs in order to gather and analyze performance and handling qualities data in order to determine if an aircraft meets its design and performance goals and certification requirements.
The basis of most of these elements lies in theoretical mathematics, such as fluid dynamics for aerodynamics or the equations of motion for flight dynamics. However, there is also a large empirical component. Historically, this empirical component was derived from testing of scale models and prototypes, either in wind tunnels or in the free atmosphere. More recently, advances in computing have enabled the use of computational fluid dynamics to simulate the behavior of fluid, reducing time and expense spent on wind-tunnel testing.
Additionally, aerospace engineering addresses the integration of all components that constitute an aerospace vehicle (subsystems including power, communications, thermal control, life support, etc.) and its life cycle (design, temperature, pressure, radiation, velocity, life time).

See also

At Wikiversity you can learn more and teach others about Aerospace engineering


  1. ^ a b Stanzione, Kaydon Al (1989). "Engineering". Encyclopædia Britannica (15) 18. 563–563.
  2. ^ "Career: Aerospace Engineer". Career Profiles. The Princeton Review. Retrieved on 2006-10-08. "Due to the complexity of the final product, an intricate and rigid organizational structure for production has to be maintained, severely curtailing any single engineer's ability to understand his role as it relates to the final project."
  3. ^ Kermit Van Every (1988). "Aeronautical engineering". Encyclopedia Americana 1. Grolier Incorporated.
  4. ^ A Brief History of NASA
  5. ^ "Science: Engineering: Aerospace". Open Site. Retrieved on 2006-10-08.
  6. ^ a b Gruntman, Mike (September 19, 2007). "The Time for Academic Departments in Astronautical Engineering" in AIAA SPACE 2007 Conference & Exposition. AIAA SPACE 2007 Conference & Exposition Agenda, AIAA.
  7. ^ America's Best Colleges 2008: Aerospace / Aeronautical / Astronautical
  8. ^ America's Best Colleges 2008: Aerospace / Aeronautical / Astronautical