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College of Engineering

Aeronautics and Astronautics

The School of Aeronautics and Astronautics offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering. Aeronautics covers all aspects of atmospheric flight, and astronautics is concerned with flight in space. The field of aeronautical and astronautical engineering, often collectively called “aerospace,” deals with the challenging problems encountered in the design and operation of air and space vehicles.

Mission Statement

To serve the State of Indiana and our Nation by providing degree granting programs - recognized as innovative learning experiences - that prepare students to be exceptional, recognized contributors to aeronautical and astronautical engineering in industry, government laboratories and universities.

To develop and maintain quality graduate research programs in technical areas relevant to Aeronautics and Astronautics and to foster a collegial and challenging intellectual environment necessary to conduct enabling and breakthrough research for aerospace systems.

Program Educational Objectives

The objective of the undergraduate aeronautical and astronautical engineering program is to prepare students for careers in aerospace engineering and related disciplines.

We consider this objective to be achieved if:

• All graduates are meaningfully employed in industry or government or are pursuing graduate studies within one year of graduation,

• Most of our graduates take jobs in the aerospace industry or pursue graduate work in aerospace engineering,

• After five years, nost graduates are working in engineering,

• After five years, most graduates have advanced their careers by, for example, promotion or pursuit of an advanced degree,

and, most importantly,

• All of our alumni feel that their education at Purdue was valuable preparation for their careers, whateer their field of endeavor.

Program Outcomes

Through the course of their studies, students shall gain:

• an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering,

• an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data,

• an ability to design an aerospace system, component or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability

• an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams,

• an ability to identify, formulate and solve aerospace engineering problems,

• an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility,

• an ability to communicate effectively,

• an understanding of the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental and societal context,

• a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning,

• a knowledge of contemporary issues in aerospace engineering,

• an ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for aerospace engineering practice.

Summary

The sophomore year sets the foundation of basic engineering, including statics, dynamics, elementary structures, electrical circuits and a broad introduction to the design of both aircraft and spacecraft.

In the junior year, students learn about aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, dynamics and control systems. Some courses in the third year are available in both aeronautical and astronautical versions, and students choose the area of primary interest.

In the senior year, students choose, in consultation with their academic advisor, two areas of concentration called "major" and "minor" areas. Elective classes can be selected in any of the following fields: fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, propulsion, structures and materials, control systems, dynamics, design, and orbit and flight mechanics.

All students must complete a team-based senior design project, which integrates the technical disciplines and leads to a preliminary design of an aerospace system. Students may elect either aircraft or spacecraft versions of the senior design project.

More information about the school can be found the at School of Aeronautics and Astronautics website.

Honors Program

A B.S.AAE with honors degree is available to qualified students. Students should consult with their academic advisor for details.

Study Abroad

Purdue University's Program for Study Abroad Office currently offers more than 200 program in over 45 countries around the world. The School of Aeronautics and Astronautics has student exchange agreements with Bristol University, U.K.; Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia; University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia; Technical University of Braunschweig in Germany; Ecole Superieure des Techniques Aeronautiques et de Construction Automobile (ESTACA) in Paris, France; and Osaka University in Japan.

Bachelor of Science Curriculum in Aeronautics and Astronautics

Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

Credit Hours Required for Graduation: 130

The basic B.S.AAE degree program has a minimum of 130 credit hours, including the First-Year Engineering requirements. The required courses and the major and minor area courses cannot be taken on a pass/not-pass basis. Students must have a 2.0 GPA in the major, as well as overall, to graduate with a B.S.AAE degree. Divided into topical areas, the required curriculum is as follows:

Basic Program Credit Hours
Mathematics
Calculus: MA 16500, 16600, 26100 12
Linear Algebra: MA 26500 3
Differential Equations: MA 26600, 30400 6
Sciences
Chemistry: CHM 11500 4
Physics: PHYS 17200, 24100 7
Communications, Humanities and Social Sciences
English Composition 3
Communications 3
Note: Students must take at least 3 credits of coursework focused on written and/or spoken communications at the 30000 level or higher.  
General Education Electives 18
Computer Skills
Programming: CS 15900, ENGR 13200 5
Graphics: CGT 16300 2
Professional Development  
Undergraduate Seminar: AAE 20000, 30000, 40000 1
ENGR 13100 2
Note: AAE 20000 will be taken once in the sophomore year, AAE 30000 once in the junior year and AAE 40000 once in the senior year.  
Aeronautics and Astronautics Program
Structures and Materials: AAE 20400, 20401, 35200 7
Aerodynamics: AAE 33300, 33301, 33400 7
Lab Elective: AAE 35201 or 33401 1
Note: The selected lab should be taken with the corresponding course, if possible.  
Propulsion
Thermodynamics: ME 20000 3
Jet Propulsion AAE 37200 or Rocket Propulsion AAE 43900 3
Note: Students planning to specialize in aeronautics should take AAE 37200; those aimed at astronautics should take AAE 43900.  
Dynamics and Control
Statics and Dynamics: AAE 20300, 34000 6
Controls: AAE 30100, 36400, 36401 7
Vehicle Dynamics: AAE 42100 or 44000 3
Note: Students planning to specialize in aeronautics should take AAE 42100; those aimed at astronautics should take AAE 44000. AAE 36401 is to be taken following AAE 36400.
Design
Introduction: AAE 25100 3
Spacecraft AAE 45000 or Aircraft AAE 45100 3
Note: Students planning to specialize in aeronautics should take AAE 42100; those aimed at astronautics should take AAE 45000.
Major Electives 9
Minor Electives 6
Note: Major and minor electives are topically related specializations within aerospace engineering. They must be approved by the academic advisor.
Technical Electives 6
Note: Technical electives may be chosen from a broad range of science, engineering or technology courses, subject to the approval of the academic advisor.
Note: Students must take at least 3 credits of coursework focused on economics, business or entrepreneurship — subject to approval by the academic advisor. This may be covered either in the general education or technical electives and, therefore, need not increase the credits to graduate.

Suggested Plan of Study for Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering:
Aeronautics Concentration

Credit Hours Required for Graduation: 130

Freshman Year, see First-Year Engineering Program

In addition, CGT 16300 (Introduction to Graphics for Manufacturing) for 2 credit hours is required in the aeronautical and astronautical engineering curriculum. Students planning to enter AAE are encouraged to take computer programming as the science selective.

Sophomore Year

Third Semester Fourth Semester
(0) AAE 20000 (Undergraduate Sophomore Seminar) (3) AAE 20400 (Aeromechanics II)
(3) AAE 20300 (Aeromechanics I) (1) AAE 20401 (Aeromechanics II Laboratory)
(4) MA 26100 (Multivariate Calculus) (3) MA 26600 (Ordinary Differential Equations)
(3) MA 26500 (Linear Algebra) (3) ME 20000 (Thermodynamics I)
(3) PHYS 24100 (Electricity and Optics) or
AAE 25100 (Introduction to Aerospace Design)
(3) PHYS 24100 (Electricity and Optics) or
AAE 25100 (Introduction to Aerospace Design)
(3) General education elective (3) General education elective
(16)   (16)  

Junior Year

Fifth Semester Sixth Semester
(0) AAE 30000 (Undergraduate Junior Seminar) (3) AAE 33400 (Aerodynamics)
(3) AAE 30100 (Signals Analysis in Aerospace) (1) AAE 33401 (Aerodynamics Laboratory) or
AAE 35201 (Structural Analysis I Laboratory)
(3)

AAE 33300 (Fluid Mechanics)

(3) AAE 34000 (Dynamics and Vibrations)
(1) AAE 33301 (Fluid Mechanics Laboratory) (3) AAE 36400 (Control Systems Analysis)
(3) AAE 35200 (Structural Analysis I) (3) AAE 37200 (Jet Propulsion Power Plants)
(3) MA 30400 (Differential Equations and
Analysis of Nonlinear Systems for Engineering and the Sciences)
(3) General education elective
(3) General education elective    
(16)   (16)  

Senior Year

Seventh Semester Eighth Semester
(1)

AAE 36401 (Control Systems Laboratory)

(3) AAE 45100 (Aircraft Design)
(1) AAE 40000 (Undergraduate Senior Seminar) (9) Major or minor area electives
(3) AAE 42100 (Flight Dynamics and Control) (3) Technical elective
(6) Major or minor area electives (3) General education elective
(3) Technical elective    
(3) General education elective    
(17)   (18)  

Suggested Plan of Study for Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering:
Astronautics Concentration

Credit Hours Required for Graduation: 130

Freshman Year, see First-Year Engineering Program

In addition, CGT 16300 (Introduction to Graphics for Manufacturing) for 2 credit hours is required in the aeronautical and astronautical engineering curriculum. Students planning to enter AAE are encouraged to take computer programming as the science selective.

Sophomore Year

Third Semester Fourth Semester
(0) AAE 20000 (Undergraduate Sophomore Seminar) (3) AAE 20400 (Aeromechanics II)
(3) AAE 20300 (Aeromechanics I) (1) AAE 20401 (Aeromechanics II Laboratory)
(4) MA 26100 (Multivariate Calculus) (3) MA 26600 (Ordinary Differential Equations)
(3) MA 26500 (Linear Algebra) (3) ME 20000 (Thermodynamics I)
(3) PHYS 24100 (Electricity and Optics) or
AAE 25100 (Introduction to Aerospace Design)
(3) PHYS 24100 (Electricity and Optics) or
AAE 25100 (Introduction to Aerospace Design)
(3) General education elective (3) General education elective
(16)   (16)  

Junior Year

Fifth Semester Sixth Semester
(0) AAE 30000 (Undergraduate Junior Seminar) (3) AAE 33400 (Aerodynamics)
(3) AAE 30100 (Signals Analysis in Aerospace) (1) AAE 33401 (Aerodynamics Laboratory) or AAE 35201 (Structural Analysis I Laboratory)
(3)

AAE 33300 (Fluid Mechanics)

(3) AAE 34000 (Dynamics and Vibrations)
(1) AAE 33301 (Fluid Mechanics Laboratory) (3) AAE 36400 (Control Systems Analysis)
(3) AAE 35200 (Structural Analysis I) (3) Technical elective
(3) MA 30400 (Differential Equations and
Analysis of Nonlinear Systems for Engineering and the Sciences)
(3) General education elective
(3) General education elective    
(16)   (16)  

Senior Year

Seventh Semester Eighth Semester
(1)

AAE 36401 (Control Systems Laboratory)

(3) AAE 44000 (Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics)
(1) AAE 40000 (Undergraduate Senior Seminar) (3) AAE 45000 (Spacecraft Design)
(3) AAE 43900 (Rocket Propulsion) (9) Major or minor area electives
(6) Major or minor area electives (3) General education elective
(3) Technical elective    
(3) General education elective    
(17)   (18)  

Options in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering

The school offers curriculum options for major and minor areas of study in programs leading to the degrees of B.S.AAE, M.S.AAE and Ph.D. The techniques developed in these courses are by no means limited to aerospace applications, even though the emphasis is in that area. These options include:

Aerodynamics.This option emphasizes the study of fluid motion around a body moving through atmospheric air at speeds that range from subsonic to hypersonic. Theoretical, computational and experimental methods are developed to determine forces, moments and heat transfer that can be applied to the design of aircraft, missiles and space vehicles. The basic theory and techniques also find application in other areas such as highspeed ground transportation, hydrofoils, mechanics of blood flow and noise generation.

Design. The design option involves the study of methods and techniques necessary for the design of aerospace systems and their components. The courses in this option provide opportunities to gain exposure to design methods and to gain experience through design projects. The topics addressed include requirements definition, functional decomposition, concept synthesis, application of design-oriented analysis methods and optimization. Because aerospace systems are highly interdisciplinary, a systems perspective is encouraged to ensure that students are aware of how design decisions impact numerous features of the aerospace system.

Dynamics and Control. This option involves the study of techniques for aerospace vehicle guidance; systems analysis and control; analysis of flight vehicle trajectories, orbits and dynamic motion; mission planning; and system optimization methods. This area deals more with the vehicle as a whole and how the subsystems and related technologies are integrated into the optimal design of a vehicle so that the mission requirements are met.

Propulsion. This option involves the study of the basic operation and design of aerospace propulsion devices, including both air-breathing engines and rocket powerplants. The gas dynamics of internal flows, thermodynamics and combustion processes associated with these devices are discussed in detail. Engine components such as inlets, pumps and/or compressors, combustion chambers, turbines and nozzles are investigated. Various air-breathing engines such as turbojets, turbofans, ramjets, turboprops and scramjets are treated. Rocket propulsion systems — including solid rocket motors; liquid rocket engines; hybrid rockets; and nuclear, electric and advanced nonchemical systems —- also are covered.

Structures and Materials. This option emphasizes the study of structural analysis, structural dynamics, structural design and behavior of aerospace materials. This includes courses that deal with the principles of mechanics and the theoretical, computational and experimental techniques necessary to ensure the structural integrity of aerospace vehicles. Response to, and failure of, both materials and structures subjected to static and dynamic loads and thermal and corrosive environments are investigated theoretically and observed experimentally