Ph.D. Proposal: Hao Chen

Tue Oct 20 2020 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM
“Interdisciplinary Space Logistics Optimization Framework for Large-Scale Space Exploration”


Ph.D. Proposal




Hao Chen

(Advisor: Prof. Koki Ho)


 “Interdisciplinary Space Logistics Optimization
Framework for Large-Scale Space Exploration”


Tuesday, October 20
2 p.m. (EDT)



As low-cost rocket launch technologies and space resource utilization systems emerge, human space exploration is attracting increasing interest from industry, government, and academia. To extend the domain of human activity beyond the low-Earth orbit and maintain a long-term human presence in cislunar space and eventually Mars, there are three fundamental questions to answer regarding space logistics:

  • How can we design a sustainable and affordable space transportation system?
  • How can we perform efficient mission planning optimization for large-scale multi-mission space campaign?
  • How can we take advantage of the emerging cislunar space economy to make space activity profitable and attract more commercial participation in cislunar space development?

These questions relate to broad fields in space system engineering, including space vehicle design, space transportation, space resource utilization, and related supporting technologies. A series of interdisciplinary design and optimization frameworks and tools are critical to performing large-scale space mission planning, optimizing spacecraft and space infrastructure designs, and stimulating space commercialization. The objective of this research is to fulfill the demands of human space exploration by developing integrated space logistics frameworks, focusing on space vehicle design, space transportation scheduling, space infrastructure design, and space commercialization by leveraging state-of-the-art in space logistics and space system engineering.

These frameworks are developed based on a network-based space logistics optimization model, which considers the space mission planning problem as a multi-commodity network flow problem. The network-based space logistics approach is a common and fundamental model for the proposed frameworks. However, depending on the specific application and the problem, they investigate different perspectives of space logistics and focus on resolving different challenges. For space vehicle design, a piecewise linear approximation method is proposed to consider nonlinear spacecraft design models. For large-scale space transportation scheduling, a partially periodic time expended network is introduced leveraging the repeating nature of regular transportation missions. For space infrastructure design, a new space infrastructure design concept is developed that considers infrastructure subsystems’ internal interactions and their external synergistic effects with space logistics simultaneously. For space commercialization, space mission planning optimization is considered under a multi-player decision-making environment.


  • Prof. Koki Ho – School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Prof. E. Glenn Lightsey – School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Prof. Harrison M. Kim – Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)