Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Alan W. Johnson, PhD


In last few years, the Air Force Research Laboratory sponsored several research projects on a Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV) whose design, operation, and logistics requirements are intended to be much simpler than for the Space Shuttle. As a part of these efforts, previous researchers developed a model that simulated the post-landing, ground maintenance and prelaunch operations of a RLV in order to evaluate how its design parameters affect the logistics operations. The next logical step is to investigate the effects and interactions of all factors used in the existing simulation model in a single experiment that considers the huge number of possible design characteristics’ combinations discovered in the previous studies as well as varying resources such as manpower, ground support equipment and facilities. The goal of this research is to recommend to the AFRL a preferred design strategy that could minimize the resource requirements in terms of equipment and manpower as well as turnaround time of logistics operations. In order to achieve this goal, this study identifies significant effects of the RLV's design characteristics by utilizing the AFRL’s MILEPOST discrete-event simulation model in a systematic design of experiment (DOE) approach. In addition, it assesses the impact of varying resources (manpower, ground support equipment and fleet size) on departure availability. The results of this research is intended to provide the AFRL with valuable and timely information about the combinations of selected RLV design characteristics which could assist in directing efforts in research and development of the future space vehicle.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number