DOI: 10.1002/iis2.13101 ISSN:

Small satellite Extracurricular projects – Implementing a context‐driven SysEng engine for improved adaptability and student agency

Håkon Kindem
  • Automotive Engineering


University student projects usually attempt to follow, and often fail to follow, industry frameworks and standards to ensure the success of their development effort. The typical student satellite project follows ESA ECSS or NASA project frameworks, prescribing document artefacts, project reviews, the project life cycle, and typical project processes. In the case of Orbit NTNU, this was done without understanding the underlying dependencies and supporting connections between artefacts, design steps, and project phases. This paper presents a framework for increased understanding of the purpose of common design artefacts and their interdependencies by applying model‐centric system thinking and systemigrams as a tool for highlighting relationships and dependencies within the SysEng discipline, thus enabling the students to complete well‐informed and planned design iterations that build a solid and coherent system understanding throughout the project lifecycle. The method is built to be adapted to the needs of the project team and can readily be used by 1st year university students with one semester of SysEng experience.

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