Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Mission Planning
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Successful completion of Year 2 PSP, Astrophysics or Space Science & Robotics.
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture None.
Seminars / Tutorials Fortnightly meetings with the project supervisor.
Workload Breakdown Every 10 credits carries a notional student workload of 100 hours. 5 hours meetings with supervisor; 2 hour posters presentation; 93 hours independent study.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Oral Presentation  20%
Semester Assessment Mission Planning Document (12 pages)  80%
Supplementary Assessment Mission Planning Document and supporting briefing document (12 pages + 1 page)  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Discuss the key science problems in their topic of study
2. Clearly describe the ways robotic technology can be used to investigate these science challenges
3. Conduct independent research in a defined topic area
4. Present their work orally and in a formal written account

Brief description

Each student will develop a proposal for a robotic instrument package, planetary rover/aerobot or spacecraft to investigate a topic of interest to a research group in the Institute under the supervision of a project supervisor. They will present their review both orally and in a formal dissertation. The work will cover both the Physics underlying the topic of study and the means by which the investigation will be carried out. The final dissertation should take the form of a research application and will be accompanied by an oral presentation by the student.


The research topic will be different for each project.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Quantitative calculations of critical aspects of the proposed mission package will be required to support the solution proposed.
Communication Written communication is developed via the dissertation. Visual communication and spoken communication are developed via the oral presentation.
Improving own Learning and Performance Regular (fortnightly) meetings between student and supervisor will provide formative assessment of progress. The oral presentations will provide an opportunity for students to compare their work with those of others and form an idea of 'best practice'.
Information Technology Students will be required to research topics within the module via the internet. Word processing (or equivalent) skills will be required for the dissertation, while use of a presentation package (or equivalent) will be needed for the poster project. A range of high-level IT knowledge will be required to choose the best approach to applying robotic technology to the chosen topic.
Personal Development and Career planning The ability to prepare a case-for-support for a proposed instrument package or mission is an essential skill for a working researcher ¿ or for leaders of development teams generally. This module provides a controlled environment in which these skills can be developed.
Problem solving Problem solving is a key skill in physics and will be tested via the quality of independent work presented in the dissertation and the oral presentation.
Research skills A dissertation, for which students are required to independently research their selected project area forms 80% of the module assessment.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 6