Space Operations Overview

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Delivery mode

In-Person, On-Campus


UNSW Canberra City Campus

Course capacity


Standard price



3 days

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In the Space Operations Overview program, we aim to illustrate the basic features of contemporary space operations.

We expose learners to the complexities involved in conducting space operations and introduce them to the fundamental underlying concepts of the physics of space. We use real-life examples and simulations to illustrate factors that influence our ability to interact with the domain, such as policy and law, the contested nature of the domain, and space weather. Mission analysis and simulation software illustrate the complexities of space mission design, launch, and operations. Key themes, such as space security and the contested nature of the domain, are interspersed throughout the course.

Course content

This course is broken into the following core learning topics:

Day 1

  • The uses and users of the space domain
  • Law, policy and regulation
  • Spacecraft operations overview
  • Space domain awareness
  • Developments in space utilisation.

Day 2

  • Basic orbital dynamics
  • Threats to space operations
  • The space environment
  • Counter-space technologies and applications.

Day 3

  • Space mission planning
  • Space mission simulation and analysis.

Counter-space and space threat simulation.

Learning outcomes

Skills/competencies/knowledge that would be gained through this course:
  • Identify the main uses of the space domain
  • Outline the primary legal, policy and regulation guidelines applicable to Australian space operations
  • Describe main concepts of space domain awareness and the contested nature of the domain
  • Describe basic orbits and their uses
  • Outline the impacts of space weather on the operation of spacecraft
  • Analyse basic space missions using software tools.

Who should attend

This is an overview course that assumes no technical background, nor space operations experience. Whilst the program contains technical material, a technical background is not necessary for learners to achieve all program outcomes.

The learner audience will come from a wide cross-section of industry, government, military, and personal interest backgrounds.

Those who need to appreciate how humans interact with the contemporary space domain without needing to replicate or implement the techniques to do so should attend the course. Those who work in space-adjacent or space-enabled industries and commercial operations, or law and policy-makers who need insight into how space policy and law may intersect with their area of expertise should also attend. People who are interested in seeing how current technologies and capabilities either assist or degrade space security, or demonstrate the contemporary space contest will also gain immense value from this course.

People looking to build upon any exposure to space or space technologies, or are considering longer-term post-graduate education in space operations and would like to gain more insight before deciding to undertake additional formalised study should also consider attending.


Dr Melrose Brown

Dr Melrose Brown is a senior lecturer and Space Program Coordinator at UNSW Canberra. In this role, he leads the M2 space mission comprised of two interacting 6U cubesats. His current research aims to apply coupling of high fidelity numerical simulations with ground and flight test to study the complex interaction between satellites and the space environment. He conducts research into the modelling and simulation of space vehicles in low earth orbit, develops orbit propagation and determination methods and techniques, space weather modelling and hypersonic fluid dynamics. He has been responsible for the numerical simulation and analysis of hypersonic flight vehicles including involvement with the vehicle's design, construction, testing and launch. Dr Brown holds a Masters and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Aerospace Engineering.

Cancellation policy

Courses will be held subject to sufficient registrations. UNSW Canberra reserves the right to cancel a course up to five working days prior to commencement of the course. If a course is cancelled, you will have the opportunity to transfer your registration or be issued a full refund. If registrant cancels within 10 days of course commencement, a 50% registration fee will apply. UNSW Canberra is a registered ACT provider under ESOS Act 2000-CRICOS provider Code 00098G.