(Updated 06.07.2016) PROJECT UNDERSEA STATION aims the development of a new generation of undersea settlements. Technically based on experiences of prior stations there will be several new considerations concerning expandability, size and usage. All results will be open-source (except some marketing details necessary for continuous popularity) and anybody who is interested has the chance to contribute his ideas. Until the minimum financial frame is completed we will go on collecting as many information as possible, implement them to a realistic blueprint and constantly improve the final design. Ultimately the final goal is the actual building of the habitat.
How to join
Just add your idea or suggestion into the comment box under the corresponding article. If the comment is not too fancy we will publish it in the shortest of time. Frequently we evaluate all comments, add them to the concept eventually and remove it from the comment list. Like this we collected many thousands of visits and hundreds of precious contributions already. Please understand that we need your mail address to avoid bots and spam.
Under the former project name of UnderwaterPromotion.com (see Who The Squid Are We?) we understood, that new approaches of Underwater Living are very popular. It showed clearly the demand and interest of new concepts for habitats on the ocean floor. Therefore we opened an online forum in 2007 to collect as many ideas as possible and in the next five years we had more than 200.000 interested readers and contributers (bots and search engines excluded). Examples for other approaches all around the world are sensational projects like ‘Poseidon Resort’ or ‘Hydropolis’ reaching great popularity worldwide.
Step by Step
We are absolutely convinced of the practicality of the project, but to reduce initial costs we have to start with the cheapest possible concepts. Therefore we split it into separate steps:
- Unmanned probes will be tested on the chosen site
- First we will build the hull, lower it and maintain short term visits
- More and more features for long-term stays will be added
- First long term stays (>40 min.) will be considered
- A deeper branch and/or additional modules should be targeted
Living Space vs. Shelter
History shows that all previous underwater stations were not habitats in its actual sense, but shelters for short term stays. The new concept has to take account of the ‘human scale’ of living space. Therefore the rooms have to be designed accordingly concerning shape and area. To expand the subjective reception of the living area colour concept, interior acoustics an privacy areas will be rethought completely.
One of the main features of the new design will be the modularity. Different modules of different purposes can be attached without weakening the structures stability. All rooms of the structure will be reachable over a corridor which is part of each module. This continuing corridor ensures reaching each room without passing all the others. It might seem like dead space, but it is an inevitable part of the structure playing a huge role in establishing the human environment.
Combining all contributions that reached us so far the latest and most favoured shape is the ‘Hangar’ (No. 4) draft as described under the ‘Structural Shape’ category:
Purpose – and the question ‘WHAT FOR?’
“Without doubts one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century is promoting a deeper understanding for the oceans that after all covers 70% of our planet.” (Frank Schätzing, Nachrichten aus einem unbekannten Universum, 2007, p. 554-555, ISBN978-3-462-03786-9)
Finding a way to live on the seabed is very similar to space exploration: We can impossibly foresee the future potential. But it is our nature to face challenges. And, yes, there is no doubt that we have to change our view and behaviour to the world oceans. We have a surprisingly insufficient relation to the oceans leading to serious dangers in the marine ecology caused by neglect and unawareness. The undersea settlement will be the perfect tool to change this view.
To achieve highest popularity it is vital to include civil participants. This goal will be achieved by the open-source idea and the concept of a surrounding underwater park. Still the project will stay absolutely independent of single-direction or political purposes.
Building an underwater habitat is not an easy task. We have to simulate a complete biosphere including food supply, light, breathing gas, heat, energy etc. Beside the technical aspects sufficiently documented by approximately 65 habitats built between 1965 and 1977 it covers many various difficulties like sustainability, extensibility, psychological effects of used colours and acoustics etc.
To keep the station running a well-thought marketing plan should be done. Different groups of participants may have different demands for example on accessibility, location or interior.
At the same time technical developments make it a little easier today. More efficient technologies like LED lighting require less energy that now might be generated by solar modules on the surface. The GSM net and the internet make it easier to submit the telemetry and to control the project remotely. Energy sufficiency of air-conditioners, refrigerators, monitors etc. have increased drastically.
Even if current projects in different parts of the world were stopped in the final stages the global echo shows the interest and potential. And all failures of others are not in vain. They produce new solutions and stronger foundations for future attempts.
Therefore it is not a question of whether we return to the ocean, but of when we will do so.
This should be an attempt to ignite the dream of living under the sea.
With best regards