Space Technology Could Give Comfy Antarctic Homes

Status
Not open for further replies.
Z

zavvy

Guest
<b>Space Technology Could Give Comfy Antarctic Homes</b><br /><br />LINK<br /><br />Space age technology is being used to design living quarters for Earth’s most alien environment – Antarctica, the European Space Agency (ESA) has revealed. And the highly-engineered, eco-friendly structures could also be the future of European city housing, say ESA researchers.<br /><br />The almost spherical design meets new stringent environmental laws protecting the icy continent, which include requirements that structures be non-polluting and entirely removable after use.<br /><br />But it was the inhospitable polar conditions that posed the toughest challenge for the designers and led them to exploit technical innovations arising from the exploration of another hostile environment – space.<br /><br />“We decided to use the same ultra-light CFRP (carbon-fibre-reinforced-plastic) composites that ESA uses onboard its spacecraft for large self-sustained structures, antennas and solar panels, to make a self-supporting lightweight shell-like structure,” explained Fritz Gampe, who designed the pod at ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme in the Netherlands.<br /><br /><br />Rivers of snow <br /><br /><br />Gampe’s design will be entered into a competition held by the German Antarctic research body, the Alfred Wegener Institute, which is looking for a replacement for its current Antarctic station by 2008. ESA is confident that its use of space technology, if not its full design, will eventually be used.<br /><br />The new design can withstand winds of up to 220 kilometres per hour and snowfalls of up to one metre per year without sinking into the ice.<br /><br />“The current station is sinking into the ice because rivers of snow have built up around it. Our new design is aerodynamic and so wind will carry most of the snow through it. However, every year the one-metre-high yearly snowfall will have to be overcome, by lifting t
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY