Solar power and an undersea habitat does not seem to fit each other. But in 2012 I had the idea of a device that opens its harvesters only if the conditions are appropriate just like a hibiscus blossom at dawn. I called it a Solar Lily. Continue reading “Solar Lily to power undersea station”
How helpful would it be to have Augmented Reality underwater in a closed environment like an Undersea Station? NASA experimented with Augmented Reality (AR) or Mixed Reality (MR) by using Microsofts HoloLens at the Aquarius Reef Base off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, in late July/August 2015. Potential astronauts used the device for tasks like checking emergency breathing equipment. Therefore they were going through a series of steps ranging from turning valves to finding and plugging in equipment, and setting up equipment to support an undersea robot. Continue reading “Augmented Reality Underwater”
Updated 06.03.2017 – The Digital Data Processing of the station will be of major importance. Beside the conventional functions of the IT systems we should use the opportunity to establish a completely new approach concerning the User Interface (UI) and the system’s interaction with the aquanauts. Continue reading “Undersea Station: Data Processing”
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”
Here is an idea for a porthole where the structure of the underwater station does not allow to install one. For example on the ceiling, where penetrations of the shell should be strictly avoided in order to maintain the integrity of the emergency safety area in the upper part of the living area. The Virtual Porthole would consist of a camera on the exterior of the shell and a TV flat screen on same position inside the habitat. Continue reading “Underwater Station: Virtual Porthole”
To provide food to the Aquanauts might be more difficult than thought concerning changing weather, water/pressureproof transportation, as well as emerging odours and chemical compounds inside the habitats atmosphere. A complete or partial solution could be a meal replacement like Mana. MANA is a balanced food providing all nutrients the human body needs. It comes in the form of drink or powder being produced in Prague. Learn more on their webpage.
To stay in an underwater habitat longer than 12 hours means to stay under saturated conditions, which requires an aquanaut decompression sequence of at least several hours. This decompression procedure is very critical: if any of aquanauts gets into an emergency situation, there is no way to take him out of the chamber before the sequence is finished. If the procedure is badly designed there is no way to bring a paramedic into the chamber. For the period of several hours the aquanaut would be alone with his companion. Continue reading “Aquanaut Decompression”
The subject of Interior Design attracted more than 16.000 readers in the Underwater Station Forum on UnderwaterPromotion.com. The contributions are summarized here: Continue reading “Undersea Station: Interior Design”
The first idea for an undersea station developed in 2007 with the opening of the Underwater Station Forum on UnderwaterPromotion.com. In the following 5 years we collected nearly 250 evaluated contributions on 34 subjects. Without counting all hits of bots and search engines we had more than 200.000 interested readers. The page might have been fatally hacked, but all these contributions were not lost. We distilled them and are still publishing the summaries on CalamarPark.com since 2016. Still it is an open-source project and we ask everyone interested in the subject to contribute his ideas and comments via the comment function under each post.
Back in the late ‘80s, NASA was looking for ways to detoxify the air in its space stations. So it conducted a study to determine the most effective plants for filtering the air of toxic agents and converting carbon dioxide to oxygen.See more on GOOD Magazine. Or the corresponding pdf’s:
- ntrs.nasa.gov: Plants Clean Air and Water for Indoor Environments
- ntrs.nasa.gov: Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement
Image: Osmunda Regalis, taken from Wikimedia, Christian Fischer [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)],
Event though our station is surrounded by water we can not use it for most of our needs. Therefore for some demands we have to establish a sweet water supply. The easiest way is to bring sweet water from the shore and to fill corresponding tanks. Well, what kind of water do we need? Continue reading “Undersea Station: Water Supply”
Growing plants in the undersea station will be very difficult. But the experiment below brought the following question to my mind: If the site of the station would be the Mediterranean, which is a subtropical environment, then the main season would be the summertime. During that period many crops would not grow due to sunlight intensity and heat. The project in the video might be an alternative to use the seawater as a light filter and cooling medium. Would it be worth to investigate?
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.
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”
(Updated 20.11.2017; added new project headlines) 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.
Keeping an air filled structure on the sea-floor is more difficult than expected. Especially during the lowering process major difficulties occurred on previous stations. We can calculate about one kilo of weight (negative buoyancy) per liter 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”
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.
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”