Space logistics brings operations research principles to space mission planning and system design. We develop logistics-based models to address emerging challenges of space infrastructure design, deployment, and operations for campaign-level space mission planning. Our lab focuses on space logistics methodology research to establish theoretical foundations of a sustainable space transportation system for cislunar space exploration and beyond.
- Y. Takubo, H. Chen, and K. Ho, “Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning Framework for Stochastic Spaceflight Campaign Design,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 59, No. 2, pp. 421-433, 2022.
- H. Chen, B. Gardner, P. Grogan, and K. Ho, “Flexibility Management for Space Logistics via Decision Rules,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 58, No. 5, pp. 1314-1324, 2021.
- H. Chen, H. Lee, and K. Ho, “Space Transportation System and Mission Planning for Regular Interplanetary Missions,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 56, No. 1, pp. 12-20, 2019.
- H. Chen and K. Ho, “Integrated Space Logistics Mission Planning and Spacecraft Design with Mixed-Integer Nonlinear Programming,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 55, No. 2, pp. 365-381, 2018.
Space Resource Utilization
This research direction explores how to utilize exoplanet resources (e.g., lunar regolith and Martian atmosphere) to significantly reduce the cost of space travel and improve mission sustainability, with a goal of eventually breaking the dependence on Earth’s supply chain logistics.
- H. Chen, T. Sarton du Jonchay, L. Hou, and K. Ho, “Multifidelity Space Mission Planning and Infrastructure Design Framework for Space Resource Logistics,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 58, No. 2, pp. 538-551, 2021.
- H. Chen, T. Sarton du Jonchay, L. Hou, and K. Ho, “Integrated In-Situ Resource Utilization System Design and Logistics for Mars Exploration,” Acta Astronautica, Vol. 170, pp. 80-92, 2020.
Enabling technologies for on-orbit servicing have been developed to refuel, repair, manipulate, and assemble new satellites or space vehicles in orbit. While little has been addressed at the detailed material flow level which is a key step to transit on-orbit servicing from concept and experiment to reality. Our lab focuses on methodology development and its application evaluation from the material flow level for on-orbit servicing leveraging our specialties in space logistics and space system engineering. This is a challenging problem because of the complex interactions among transportation elements (i.e., launcher, servicer, storage depot, client satellites, etc.), the constraints (i.e., trajectories, budget, time windows, resources, etc.), and supply chain management (i.e., maintenance spares, components, propellant, and material flow monitoring).
- T. Sarton du Jonchay, H. Chen, O. Gunasekara, and K. Ho, “Framework for Modeling and Optimization of On-Orbit Servicing Operations Under Demand Uncertainties,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 58, No. 4, pp. 1157-1173, 2021.
- T. Sarton du Jonchay, H. Chen, M. Isaji, Y. Shimane, and K. Ho, “On-Orbit Servicing Optimization Framework with High- and Low-Thrust Propulsion Tradeoff,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 59, No.1, pp. 33-48, 2022.