spring 2019

STE6304 Mathematical Modeling and Simulation - 5 stp

Sist endret: 13.06.2019

The course is administrated by

Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology


Narvik |

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 December
Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October

Type of course

The course may be taken as a single subject.  

Admission requirements

A relevant undergraduate bachelor Engineering programme with minimum 30 credits Mathematics/statistics topics

Application Code: 9371

Prerequisite(s): Classical mechanics, Linear Algebra
Recommended prerequisites: Control engineering 1

Obligatory prerequisites

SMN6190 Linear Algebra 2, STE-3501 Classical Mechanics

Course contents

This course teaches the students how to build a satellite simulator through a series of tutorial-like lectures with accompanying assignments. Through a series of 10 assignments, the students will be able to model and simulate a satellite operating in an elliptical orbit. Specifically, the course will cover:
  • Orbital Mechanics
  • Sun vector modelling
  • Magnetic field modelling
  • Attitude determination
  • Attitude control
  • Actuators
    • Thrusters
    • Reaction wheels
    • Magnetic torquers
  • Actuation strategies
    • Bang-bang
    • Pulse width modulation
    • Pulse width pulse frequency modulation
  • Sensors and sensor noise

Recommended prerequisites

STE6215 Control Engineering I

Objective of the course

After subject has been passed the students should have acquired the following learning results:

Knowledge and understanding:

     The candidate:

  • has knowledge on how to model translational and rotational dynamics of spacecraft
  • has knowledge on how to design an attitude controller for a rigid body
  • has knowledge on how to estimate the attitude based on vector measurements


     The candidate:

  • is able to model different components required to build a satellite simulator
  • is able to perform simulations in Matlab/Simulink
  • is able to use LaTeX to write a scientific report

General competences:

  • The candidate will be able to model and simulate complex systems in Matlab/Simulink and create a report describing their work.

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

Lectures and mandatory assignments


Mandatory assignments:
10 mandatory assignments will be given.

Exam and assessment:

The course is assessed by coursework only; where the students shall write a scientific report describing the results from the assignment using LaTeX.

Assessment is according to standard A-F grading scale where F is a fail.

A re-sit exam will be arranged for this course.

Date for examination

Report hand in date 18.03.2019

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced in the StudentWeb early in May and early in November.


Recommended reading/syllabus

Main literature:

  • M. Sidi (1997) Spacecraft Dynamics and Control
  • Notes and papers handed out by lecturer

Support literature:

  • O. Egeland and J. T. Gravdahl (2002) Modeling and Simulation for Automatic Control
  • D. Vallado (2007) Fundamentals of Astrodynamics and Applications
  • J. Wertz (1978) Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control
  • H. Schaub and J. Junkins (2003) Analytical Mechanics of Space Systems