Modeling Framework

The space logistics project aims to study human space exploration from the logistics perspective. As a result, our modeling framework is quite different from those of traditional space exploration studies.

Based on a user-specified surface mission (e.g. 7 days on the lunar surface), the demand for supplies and cargo is calculated. This demand must then be satisfied by moving supplies from their origin to the destination, through a network of locations defined by the user (e.g. KSC to LEO to LLO to Moon). The movement of supplies through the network can be specified by the user or generated by a network optimization algorithm. Finally, the shipment of supplies is simulated to generate an easy-to-understand set of outputs, and the mission can be evaluated based on our measures of effectiveness. An integrated database provides the backbone for the modeling data as well as tracking of shipments through the network.

Detailed descriptions of each segment of our modeling framework are provided.


Based on a given mission scenario (number of crew, mission duration, etc.), the demand for supplies and cargo is modeled for each of ten supply classes (such as propellants or crew provisions).


The space network is the basis for all logistical decisions, defining all possible transfers between points of interest.


The SpaceNet Integrated Database serves as a repository for modeling and simulation data, as well as real-time logistics data (such as inventory location or shipping status).


The optimizer provides the most cost-effective logistics solution to a user-defined mission scenario.


This simulation ties together all other components of the modeling framework, taking the mission scenario as an input and producing the output information to fully describe and evaluate the mission scenario.

Measures of Effectiveness

Any supply chain is a system, and as such, its design should involve comparing alternatives by objectively measuring how well each achieves the system's purpose.

SpaceNet provides a means for doing that by calculating measures of effectiveness (MOEs).

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