autumn 2024
FYS-3000 Introduction to satellite and rockets techniques and space instrumentations - 10 ECTS

Type of course

The course is available as a singular course. The course is also available to exchange students and Fulbright students.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements are a Bachelor's degree in physics or similar education, including specialization in physics worth the equivalent of not less than 80 ECTS credits. Local admission, application code 9371 - singular courses at Master's level.

Course content

The course covers satellite and rocket missions at an introductory level. The aim is to give students necessary knowledge to be able to use data from spacecraft for scientific research and to contribute to designing satellite and/or sounding rocket missions. The course covers the basics of the spacecraft environment, spacecraft dynamics (orbital and attitude motion and control), telecommunication and telemetry, and the physical principles of in-situ scientific instrumentation.

The primary pre-requisites for the course are mathematics at the calculus level and mechanics, especially Newton's gravitation theory and rigid body dynamics. Basic data analysis skills can also be useful.

Recommended prerequisites

FYS-1001 Mechanics, INF-1049 Introduction to computational programming, MAT-1001 Calculus 1, MAT-1002 Calculus 2, MAT-1003 Calculus 3, MAT-1004 Linear algebra

Objectives of the course

Knowledge - The student:

  • Has comprehensive knowledge about the environment in which spacecraft operate and can discuss in detail how the environment might affect the spacecraft
  • Has detailed understanding of essential aspects of spacecraft dynamics including orbital and attitude motion, as well as launches.
  • Can describe spacecraft subsystems (e.g., telemetry, telecommunication, power, etc.)
  • Can explain and discuss thoroughly the use of spacecraft to accomplish well known categories of missions (e.g., communication, navigation, remote Earth monitoring and others)
  • Can analyze data and describe the physical principles of scientific spacecraft instruments

Skills - The student can:

  • Calculate, compute and simulate spacecraft trajectories
  • Use and analyze spacecraft data for investigations and research within the realm of space physics

General expertise - The student can:

  • Use and analyze spacecraft data to address questions related to the Near-Earth environment
  • Convey observations and analysis from spacecraft in a scientific way.
  • Use the knowledge acquired to contribute to the design and participate in satellite and/or rocket missions

Language of instruction and examination

The language of instruction is English and all of the syllabus material is in English. Examination questions will be given in English, but may be answered either in English or a Scandinavian language.

Teaching methods

Lectures: 40 hours Exercises: 40 hours

The course might include a field trip to Andøya Space Center.

Information to incoming exchange students

This course is open for inbound exchange student who meets the admission requirements. Please see the Admission requirements’ section. Do you have questions about this module? Please check the following website to contact the course coordinator for exchange students at the faculty:



Examination: Duration: Grade scale:
Oral exam 50 Minutes A–E, fail F

Coursework requirements:

To take an examination, the student must have passed the following coursework requirements:

A researce project Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

Re-sit examination

There is no access to a re-sit examination in this course
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: FYS-3000
  • Earlier years and semesters for this topic