Longer stays in an underwater station require systems to filter out Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from the air that is exhaled by the aquanauts. These CO2 scrubbers generally consist of a fan that pulls air through a canister filled with Carbon Dioxide (CO2) adsorbent, such as Sodasorb or Sodalime. To get a rough idea about CO2 scrubbers and their prices visit the webpage of AMRON International.
So far the final draft follows the hangar shape. Having a look at the evaluation list in the ‘Structural Shape‘ chapter it seems like the ideal shape for the undersea station.
Because of the sand used as variable ballast and the space under the station the structure is easily removable by just releasing the sand. No harmful materials or items would be left behind which serves the ecological idea. Continue reading “Undersea Station Draft No.4: Hangar”
The operational depth of the station correlates with the targeted type of users and the desired decompression schedule. Let’s start from the extreme:
50m and more (depth of Sealab III -189m, depth of Conshelf III -100m): This depth is highly complicated. The aquanauts are saturated and demand long decompression periods of several days after the dives. Therefore it is impossible to go and come back, but one dive (exposure) should last several days. The breathing mixture consists mostly of Helium which makes communication without unscramblers impossible. The handling of pure oxygen requires oxygen-clear equipment. The aquanauts have to pass a long training program. The environment is cold and dark. Depths like this might be a target for the future, but for the beginning and especially for the purpose to attract attention it is not first choice. All these obstacles occur at all depths of more than 60m. Continue reading “Undersea Station: Operational Depth”
One of the differences to other previous stations is the fact that it is not only available for a small group of scientists, but to a large group even of private participants. Of course, it still requires a very strict program to enter the station. The idea is to settle the station inside a park (The Calamar-Park) and make it available for all sport divers. For this touristic purpose a row of activities and attractions has to be designed. These attractions will follow a chronological program to maintain continuous popularity. That means that when an attraction reaches its half-time period another attraction should be already on its way as seen in the following graph: Continue reading “Undersea Station: Event Plan”
Updated 13.05.2017; For a long time we favoured the shape of a sphere mainly because there were ready structures available used as pressure resistant LPG tanks. It would have measured 12m in diameter, the lower half would be filled with sand just before lowering while the upper half would contain two floors of living space. After discussing the idea with different engineers we had to accept that a LPG tank would need so many modifications that building a new one would be even cheaper. After receiving the first cost estimations we were pretty sure that it would be impossible to find funding for a civil structure of that scale.
Continue reading “Undersea Station Draft No. 3: Sphere”
Keeping an air filled structure on the sea-floor is more difficult than expected. Especially while descending and landing the station major difficulties occurred on previous stations. We can calculate about one kilo of weight (negative buoyancy) per litre of air inside the station (positive buoyancy). The dimensions are huge: imagine a space of 50 m² with a height of 2m, which equals 100 tons of counterweight. At the same time it has to be considered, that these weights have to be lifted again in the end of the mission. For ecological reasons we should find a way to leave the weights on the site and to use a material that would not harm the environment. Continue reading “Undersea Station: Ballast”
Update 22.04.2016: So far 42 contributions generating 20375 visits. Thanks to all previous and coming participants. Feel free to join the development by using the comment function below.
Until now four different drafts were considered. Each shape developed after discussing pros and cons of the previous one. During this process we were able to define and approach constantly the following targets: Continue reading “Undersea Station: Structural Shape”
Update 19.03.2016: So far 8 contributions generating 4839 visits. Thanks to all previous and coming participants. Feel free to join the development.
In terms of marketing the portholes provide probably the most important component of the system. They are fundamental reason for potential visitors to reserve a short or long stay in the system, tool for observing the outside world (during stays for educational purposes) and attraction to a look from the outside into the inside (tourism marketing).
At the same time they are one of the weak points of the system and small irregularities between the seals could lead to the collapse of the structure. Therefore, the thickness of the glass should be designed according to highest possible load. Continue reading “Undersea Station: Portholes”
In 2012 Fraunhofer Institute succeeded to build an electronic ceiling imitating a window to the sky. This might be a good technology for long stays at the Undersea Station.
Translation of the Fact Sheet: ‘Virtual Sky is a dynamic, multi-spectral light ceiling. The prototype in the laboratory of the Fraunhofer IAO covers an area of 34 m² and integrated a total of 34,560 LED with four different colours. Like this more than 16 million colours can be represented. They are grouped in a total of 240 (20×12) individually controllable squares (30 x 30 cm) that can be directed just like display pixels. Both temporally and spatially dynamic lighting is possible.
Continue reading “The Virtual Sky of Fraunhofer Institute”
The Open source project Undersea Station started several years ago on our former platform UnderwaterPromotion.com. Many people gave us very precious ideas and we are very thankful for it. But we also saw that the format of a forum was not the ideal approach since too much text accumulated and kept many of the participants away from the project. Now Mart had the idea… Continue reading “Project Undersea Station”
The pressure difference in passenger planes is easily understandable if you take a soft and empty plastic bottle, close it at the highest position of your flight (in the upper part of the image) and watch again while landing. You will see that the pressure makes the bottle shrink (in the lower part of the image). Continue reading “Pressure Experiment”