Space Tool for Advanced & Rapid Mission Analysis & Design

What is STARMAD?

It is a software for preliminary space missions analysis and design, born in 2008 after 2 years of development. Several improvements and new features have been then implemented up to now, such as STARMAD-UFO, and Graphics.


You can get STARMAD for FREE. Trial version is limited in features and you will need to purchase a license to fully unlock it.

License Types

Latest version is STARMAD v3.2. Different types of license are available: commercial, university, student.


Customers are from Industries as well as Universities with a worldwide distribution. Join them, start using STARMAD!

Main Features

STARMAD is a Space Mission Analysis and Design tool, intended to perform:

Mission Orbit Analysis & Design

Manoeuvre and Maintenance;
Interplanetary Transfer;
Delta-V Budget.

Observation Payload Analysis

Electromagnetic Spectrum;
Optics and Sizing.

Spacecraft Subsys Design

Attitude Control;
Power System;
Propulsion System;
Structural Analysis;
Thermal Control.

Vehicle & Mission Operation

Launch and Transfer Vehicle Information;
Mission Operation Complexity Analysis;

"This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

Neil Armstrong

Do not settle for horizon, keep looking for the infinite ... you will not regret!

Do you want to get more detailed information about STARMAD and its internal structure?

STARMAD Structure
STARMAD is principally divided into 5 primary sections, each of which contain several subsections. Through the GUI interface, the user can define the type of problem. The Main User Interface is composed of 30 subsections. Each subsection can be configured with the required inputs and run independently from the others. User can solve several different concurrent space mission tasks calling different subsections and performing analyses in parallel taking under control the complexity of the problem. All the involved sections will take care of the performed evaluations and will automatically set their inputs based on the obtained results. This process will allow the user to concurrently design and analyse space mission subjects. Every subsection has its own Output Section showing results, data and design summary when the simulation is performed. All results can be saved, stored, or re-loaded for modifications, and exported in a Mission Report for further analysis.

Data Exchange
In automatically linking all Space Mission aspects with their associated interdependencies, STARMAD is able to simplify complexity of the problem. It facilitates a fast and effective interaction of all disciplines involved, ensuring consistent high-quality results for an end-to-end design of a space mission. Spacecraft design process is based on mathematical models, which are implemented inside STARMAD. By this means, a consistent set of design parameters can be automatically defined and exchanged throughout the software sections. And any change, which may have an impact on other disciplines, can immediately be identified and assessed. In this way, a number of design iterations can be performed, and different design options can easily be analysed and compared. In such a way, via STARMAD, it will be possible to streamline the design process achieving cost reduction and quality improvements.

STARMAD Overview
STARMAD is principally subdivided in five sections, which are built by several subsections as shown in the STARMAD structure. All results can be saved, stored, re-loaded for modifications, exported in a Mission Report for further analysis.
The main five sections composing STARMAD are following reported:
  • Orbit Analysis
  • Observation Payload Analysis
  • Spacecraft Subsystems Design
  • Vehicle Information
  • Mission Operation Complexity
  • Extra Packages

Orbit Analysis
It is composed of the following sub-divisions:
  • Orbit Dynamics evaluating basic spacecraft dynamics, orbit perturbations both atmospheric and gravitational.
  • Orbit Geometry, where general coverage characteristics and target viewing are calculated.
  • Orbit Manoeuvres and Maintenance for circular orbit. In this section, setting main input parameters, such as parking and operational orbit parameters, or re-phasing, de-orbit and end-of-life parameters, Orbit Manoeuvre outputs (orbit dynamics, Hofmann transfer, plane change, low-thrust spiral change) and Orbit Maintenance outputs (Dynamics, Atmospheric and Gravitational effects, Re-phasing, End-of-life Manoeuvre parameters) are evaluated.
  • Interplanetary Orbit Transfer, where main output parameters for an interplanetary transfer are evaluated under hypothesis of patched conic approximation, such as velocity, energy, time of flight, delta-v to initiate and complete the transfer. For Earth departure, circular orbit is assumed. Also heliocentric transfers are considered.
  • ΔV and Geometry Budgets, calculating all the elements of the ΔV budget and Mapping and Pointing errors.

Observation Payload Analysis
It is subdivided in the following sections:
  • Electromagnetic Spectrum & Optics, where typical EM Spectrum and Optics parameters are determined, such as irradiance, emittance, swath-width, ground resolution.
  • Observation Payload Sizing, where sizing of the observation instrument in terms of dimensions, mass and power is evaluated, as well as the payload data rate.

Spacecraft Subsystems Design
It is composed of all main subsystems required to build a satellite.
  • Spacecraft Preliminary Sizing, in terms of mass, power, volume, area and moments of inertia of S/C body and solar array.
  • Attitude Control, composed of 2 sections: • Torque Estimates: where orbit characteristics, environmental torques and slew characteristics are calculated. • Attitude Control Sizing: evaluating main parameters of Momentum wheel, Reaction wheel, Thrusters and Magnetic Torquer.
  • Communications: • Uplink: setting Ground Transmitter parameters, this section evaluates outputs for Ground and Spacecraft transmitter, Geometry and Atmosphere perturbations, Link budget in terms of EIRP, space loss, atmospheric attenuation, rain attenuation, G/T, Antenna pointing losses, Eb/No, C/No, Margin. • Downlink: setting the Spacecraft Transmitter parameters, this section evaluates outputs for Ground and Spacecraft transmitter, Geometry and Atmosphere perturbations, Link budget in terms of EIRP, space loss, atmospheric attenuation, rain attenuation, G/T, Antenna pointing losses, Eb/No, C/No, Margin.
  • Power Subsystem Sizing, which is subdivided in 3 sections: • Solar Array; • Secondary Battery; • Other Primary Sources to calculate solar array mass and power budgets, battery capacity and mass, power and mass for fuel cells, solar thermal dynamics, radioisotope, nuclear reactor (if on board).
  • Propulsion Subsystem, composed of the following sections: • Sizing, which principally calculates mass, power, mass flow rate, thrust for both chemical and electric propulsion system; • Thermodynamics evaluating specific impulses, combustion chamber and nozzle characteristics. Additionally, it performs a complete sizing for the liquid propulsion system ; • Storage and Feed, where oxidiser and fuel characteristics plus bulk density and volume are determined.
  • Structural Analysis for: • Monocoque Structure; • Semi-Monocoque Structure to calculate loads, axial and lateral deflections, stress, bending moment, margins of safety.
  • Thermal Control to perform analyses on the spacecraft body and solar array. Main parameters evaluated are: solar and Albedo energy absorbed, maximum and minimum equilibrium temperature, maximum and minimum planet IR energy absorbed, possible changes in S/C to reduce maximum equilibrium temperature to specified upper limit, heater requirements during eclipse.

Vehicles Info
This section gives an overview of the principal characteristics for existing launch and transfer vehicles.
  • For Launchers: spacecraft loaded mass, performance (mass to orbit, available inclinations, injection accuracy, flight rate), reliability experience, payload compartment characteristics, frequency, accelerations and price are summarised.
  • Transfer Vehicles: delta-V capability, thrust, mass flow rate specific impulse, burn time and mass characteristics are given.

  • Mission Operations Complexity Analysis
    This SW section summarizes the results of the Mission Operations Complexity investigation using NASA’s JPL model. It is divided into four subsections as follows:
    • Mission Design and Planning: Science and Engineering, GNC and Tracking events are monitored in terms of frequency, criticality, data return, planning;
    • Flight System Design: the operations complexity events are related to command, monitor, pointing, automation, flight margins;
    • Operational Risk Avoidance: command and control, data return, performance analysis, fault recovery are taken into account;
    • Ground Systems: interfaces and ground system complexity, design of the ground system, organization and staffing, automation, are considered into the evaluation of the mission operations complexity.
    In each of these subsections, a level of complexity (high, medium, or low) is given for all the events related to the particular mission subject. The level of the total mission complexity and the predicted full-time equivalent manpower for efficient operations is given as final output.

    Extra Features
    • STARMAD Graphics offers the possibility to visualise several scenarios for mission analysis and spacecraft design.Figure shows an example of a mission visualisation using STARMAD Graphics.
    • STARMAD-UFO (Used FOrmulae) is an extra package intended to provide all the Formulae implemented inside the software. All STARMAD formulae are taken from mentioned references. They are either analytically derived or evaluated via iteration process. In the second case several optimized loops are calculated to achieve rapidly the solution. Databases are implemented for Launch and Transfer vehicles, with information collected from referenced documentation. User has the possibility to save ‘user defined’ vehicles to increase or update vehicle database.

    Get advantage of all this!

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    Space Tool for Advanced and Rapid Mission Analysis and Design

    License Prices

    Commercial - Unlimited

    Commercial - 1 year

    University - Unlimited


    No Shipment is planned for our product. The software is fully downloadable via our website and the license for its activation will be provided after payment received. License Agreement is embedded inside the software and it is also provided in pdf format along with setup file.
    Purchase Procedure: It is currently only possible to purchase the tools using bank wire transfer.


    For Information:

    STARMAD is available FOR FREE, but its features are restricted to only few sections without a license file installed.

    To purchase STARMAD license, please contact:

    For Technical Support:

    Our Headquarter is located in Leiden, the Netherlands.