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Orbital Warehouse Design for an Extra-terrestrial Supply-Chain Distribution Model

Volume 9, Number 6, November 2013 - Paper 03 - pp. 609-618


Dalhousie University, Industrial Engineering, Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA

(Received on April 10, 2013, revised on April 15 and May 22, 2013)


This study presents the design of a warehouse facility in geocentric orbit, to efficiently transfer goods from a terrestrial launch site to multiple destinations such as the International Space Station, prospective hotels, and a lunar base.  The proposed distribution model will find the optimum mass flow from the warehouse by jointly determining the optimal altitudes of the hotels and warehouse.  A numerical analysis is carried out to minimize the energy required to satisfy this network.  The altitudes are heavily dependent on the mass allocated to each destination at launch.  Based on requirements for oxygen, water, food, fuel, and waste; the placement of the warehouse and hotels have been established.  Sensitivity analyses of different supply frequencies have also been examined.


References: 23

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