WIT Press

Complex adaptive logistics for the international space station

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/DNE-V11-N3-459-472

Volume

Volume 11 (2016), Issue 3

Pages

13

Page Range

459 - 472

Author(s)

G. RZEVSKI, V. SOLOVIEV, P. SKOBELEV & O. LAKHIN

Abstract

Whilst launching of astronauts is always in the news, little is known about logistics support that must be in place for the successful spaceflight to be possible. This paper describes some details of the Intelligent Logistics Management System, conceived by the authors, and developed by two sister companies, one in the UK and the other in Russia, which supports Russian contribution to the international space exploration. The System is designed as a complex adaptive network of interacting real-time schedulers, believed to be the first of its kind in the world. At present, five real-time schedulers cooperate or compete with each other, depending on the context. They schedule flights, cargo flow, storage allocation, scientific experiments, and resource allocation within the international space station (ISS). Further, schedulers can be developed and easily connected to the network, as the need arises. When two cargo vehicles were lost in 2015, the Logistics Management System rapidly re-scheduled deliveries, ensuring that astronauts were not left short of food, water, healthcare material, and laboratory equipment for space exploration. The System is based on multi-agent technology and exhibits Emergent Intelligence.

Keywords

complex adaptive logistics, complexity, international space station, space exploration