Space Module On-Board Stowage Optimization by Exploiting Empty Container Volumes

Part of the Springer Optimization and Its Applications book series (SOIA, volume 73)


This chapter discusses a research activity recently carried out by Thales Alenia Space, to support International Space Station (ISS) logistics. We investigate the issue of adding a number of virtual items (i.e. items not given a priori) inside partially loaded containers, in order to exploit the volume still available on board as much as possible. Items already accommodated are supposed to be tetris-like, while the additional virtual items are assumed to be parallelepipeds. A mixed-integer non-linear programming (MINLP) model is introduced first, then possible linear (MILP) approximations are discussed, and a corresponding heuristic solution approach is proposed. Guidelines for future research are highlighted, and experimental insights are provided to show the efficiency of the proposed approach.


Space cargo accommodation Container loading problem Non-standard three-dimensional packing Virtual items Tetris-like items MINLP models MILP approximations Heuristics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thales Alenia Space Italia S.p.A.TurinItaly
  2. 2.Altran Italia S.p.A.TurinItaly

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