Incentive design for commercial participation in space logistics infrastructure development and deployment

Hao Chen, Melkior Ornik, Koki Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The development and deployment of public space infrastructures, such as lunar habitat systems, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) systems, and propellant depots, often require a large amount of initial investment that may not be affordable by a single stakeholder. It often requires global collaborations and federations of different governmental agencies and commercial entities. To analyze the interactions of stakeholders with different mission objectives and to stimulate commercial participation in future space infrastructure development and deployment, this paper proposes an incentive mechanism design framework based on game theory. An analytical incentive design method based on the Nash bargaining solution is established. We prove that this method can minimize the incentive required for commercial participation while maximizing both the social welfare (i.e., maximizing the total utility of all stakeholders) and the fairness (i.e., maximizing the minimum utility of each stakeholder). A case study on lunar habitat infrastructure deployment is implemented to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed incentive design method. Results also show how the performances of ISRU system after deployment may impact the cooperation among stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberIAC-19_D3_1_6_x51353
JournalProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
StatePublished - 2019
Event70th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2019 - Washington, United States
Duration: Oct 21 2019Oct 25 2019


  • Game Theory
  • Incentive Design
  • Space Infrastructure
  • Space Logistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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