Course Syllabus for "SSE101: Survey of Systems Engineering - Part 1"
Welcome to Survey of Systems Engineering - Part 1. This course is the product of a joint effort between NASA and the Saylor Foundation. As the inspiration and major content provider for this project, NASA's role cannot be understated. Their team of experts were integral in getting this course up and running, and ultimately in the fashion you see today. The Saylor staff served as technical and educational navigators in this process, offering support and input in online course design. Our excellent A/V team put together the videos that comprise the meat of this course. We are all extremely proud to have the inaugural, dual-branded NASA and Saylor course, living on Saylor.org.
Each unit of the course will preset you with a survey of space systems engineering topics. For a more complete grasp of all that space systems engineering entails, make sure to visit Lisa Guerra's Space System Engineering course, which SSE101 was adapted from.
This course features YouTube playlist (also available on Vimeo) as the main method of content delivery in every unit. Every unit has multiple videos in each playlist, so make sure to watch them all. At the end of most videos in the playlists, there will be additional required resources. There will also be unit assessments to gauge your learning, discussion forum activities, deliverables for the optional Mars Sample Return mission project, and a multiple choice final exam. Lastly, in Units 1, 3, 4, and 6, we have posted archived Google Hangouts on Air with NASA engineers and scientists who use the lessons you will be learning in their everyday lives at the Goddard Space Flight Center.
Unit quizzes: 10% each (for a total of 60% of your final grade)
Final exam: 40%
Note: To pass this course, you will need to complete every quiz and the final exam and have a cumulative grade of 70% or higher. Unit quizzes cannot be retaken but the final exam can after a one week waiting period.
Mars Sample Return Mission Project: You will have the opportunity to apply the concepts you are learning to a real NASA mission currently in development, a Mars Sample Return mission. Look out for full project details at the end of Unit 1.
Course Lecturers: NASA Project Manager, Jeff Volosin; NASA Mission Systems Engineer, Mike Menzel; and Nobel prize winner, Dr. John C. MatherPrimary Resources: This course is comprised of pre-existing content created by NASA as well as new video and assessments created specifically for this course. The main sources of NASA content are:
Lisa Guerra’s Space Systems Engineering
NASA's Systems Engineering Handbook
NASA’s Science Visualization Studio
NASA’s Systems Engineering Seminar
All of the content created for this course is in the Public Domain.
Although not required, you are encouraged to work with a partner or team as you complete this course. There will be a number of assignments that, while designed for individuals, can be completed with a group and potentially broaden your understanding of the topic at hand.
This is an extremely portable course. Everything you will need to learn is contained within one YouTube playlist per unit, including links to supplementary readings and activities. Although we designed Saylor.org to enhance your experience, you can (and are encouraged to!) take this playlist anywhere, whether that be another platform, or just opened on your phone through YouTube. Learning opportunities should be at your fingertips always, and we think we've done that here.
Upon completing the six units of Survey of Systems Engineering - Part 1, you will be able to explain the value and purpose of systems engineering, the systems engineering project life cycle, and relate the roles of systems engineers in complex space missions. You will also identify the roles and concepts of operations, requirements, and trade studies in the project lifecycle and demonstrate the ability to apply these concepts to a real NASA mission.
Unit 1: What is Systems Engineering?
Jeff Volosin welcomes students to the course and answers student-submited questions on Space Systems Engineering in this unit's Hangout on Air. This was recorded on March 7, 2014 when we first launched SSE101.
Unit 2: Teamwork
Unit 3: Project Life Cycle
Meet the original Space Systems Engineering online course creator, Lisa Guerra, in this unit's Hangout on Air! This video was recorded on March 21, 2014.
Unit 4: Scoping and Concept of Operations
Ever wanted to meet an astronaut? Now is your chance -- Watch the Hangout on Air with Col. Greg Johnson below!
Unit 5: Requirements
Unit 6: Trade Studies
Check out the recordings of the Hangouts on Air with Dr. John Mather and Mike Menzel of the James Webb Space Telescope and Jeff Volosin and Lisa Guerra below!
Instructions: You must be logged into your Saylor Academy account in order to access this exam. If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.