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A Heuristic Approach to Determining Cargo Flow and Scheduling for Air Mobility Command's Channel Cargo System
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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This research investigated a heuristic approach to schedule aircraft for the channel cargo system of the Unit States Air Forces Air Mobility Command AMC. Given cargofrequency of visit requirements, a fleet of aircraft, and possible routes, the objective of this research was to develop, implement, and test an iterative procedure to efficiently schedule and load aircraft in order to maximize the flow of cargo through the channel cargo system. Once a level of flow was established, attempts were made to minimize cost in terms of cumulative weighted time-in-system CWTIS. A minimum cost flow heuristic, incorporating a successive shortest path algorithm, was coupled with a critical arc schedule improvement heuristic. Our procedure iterated between these two heuristics to generate a cargo flow pattern and aircraft schedule. This research demonstrated the usefulness and efficiency of this heuristic in planning airlift for the channel cargo system. The FORTRAN programs which implement the heuristics are compatible with current AMC schedulingadvance planning tools. Given this compatibility, additional testing in conjunction with AMCs current planning tools STORM, CARGPREP, and CARGOSIM is warranted. Pending successful testing in this environment, implementation of these methods is recommended.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE