GEM-FLO (A Generic Simulation Environment for Modeling Future Launch Operations) is a computer program that facilitates creation of discreteevent simulation models of ground processes in which reusable or expendable launch vehicles (RLVs) are prepared for flight. GEM-FLO includes a component, developed in Visual Basic, that generates a graphical user interface (GUI) and a component, developed in the Arena simulation language, that creates a generic discrete-event simulation model. Through the GUI, GEM-FLO elicits RLV design information from the user. The design information can include information on flight hardware elements, resources, and ground processes. GEMFLO translates the user's responses into mathematical variables and expressions that populate the generic simulation model. The variables and expressions can represent processing times, resource capacities, status variables, and other process parameters needed to configure a simulation model that reflects the ground processing flow and requirements of a specific RLV. Upon execution of the model, GEM-FLO puts out data on many measures of performance, including the flight rate, turnaround time, and utilization of resources. This information can serve as the basis for determining whether design goals can be met, and for comparing characteristics of competing RLV designs.

This program was written by Martin Steele of Kennedy Space Center and Mansooreh Mollaghasemi and Ghaith Rabadi of Productivity Apex, Inc. For further information, contact Mansooreh Mollaghasemi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . KSC-12488

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the February, 2006 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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