Neowin Think Tank: Mars Colony One (and Two ... and Three ... and ... )


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Draggendrop

Notes of interest......

 

1) Building color for northern mining...dark colors to absorb the sun's radiant heat. (tech available)

 

2) Building and equipment surface ionizer....prevent static charged dust from clinging to everything. (tech available)

 

3) Building design should incorporate high mount tie-off mechanism, tie buildings to "surface staples". (tech available)

 

4) Retracting/folding solar arrays and turbine blades, storm ready. (tech available)

 

5) Medical module, Communications module (enclosed with retractable outer antennae), Industrial Lab Module. (tech available)

 

6) Maintenance Module (repairs , small tooling, "printers and supplies", small spares  (tech available)

 

7) Storage for large spares and supplies. (tech available)

 

8) Battery backups for all modules, mobile units with cords (emergency). (tech available)

 

9) Small conventional reactor/generator (industrial power and site power when dust storms last weeks). (tech available)

 

10) Tracked vehicles for ice work or when weight needs to be displaced, other vehicles wide composite wheels. (tech available)

 

11) Sparkless design for all machinery. (tech available)

 

12) Cold climate heat/wrap/blower tech for machinery (tech available)

 

13) Enclose vehicle batteries and all parts possible into housing, expose only final main drive components and actuators, see (12). (tech available)

 

14) Industrial processing building......water, oxygen, hydrogen, methane, etc.....(tech available)

 

15) Industrial processing building...dirty tech...mineral processing. (tech available)

 

16) Actual process type and equipment needed for #14 and #15, (use tech available today) and  (judgement call on new tech testing, ongoing)

 

17) Emergency stores on mothership, till processing up and running on site, ie: oxygen and water, (need mothership)

 

18) Drop/ landing system for spare fuel, for Dragon V variant lift off

 

19) Computer access to mothership/satellite for communication and internet access to Earth....knowledge base. (tech available)

 

20) Medical module could house life sciences...ie: health issues, radiation exposure, etc. (tech available)

 

21) Dispersed finished product storage..."don't put all eggs in one basket".    (tech available)

 

22) Rely as much as possible on renewable energy and storage for non industrial uses...reactor as industrial and emergency backup in times of extended non charging weather...ie: week(s) long dust storms causing non existent charging ability. (tech available)

 

23) Suit designs....standard outdoor and heavy duty, wear resistant mining suit. (tech available)

 

24) Keep all vehicles at a size that we can get them to the surface with tech available, or split into units that will work.

 

25) First priority should be to set up small camp and focus on industrial production......water...oxygen.....(most important items...period)

 

break time...will continue later.......for every ones consideration of these points...........start shooting............. :woot:

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Arachno 1D

Could we use the soil bound chemical i.e. Olivine to create structures rather than having to import any as it would appear to have good thermal quality?

 

The aluminium foundry industry uses olivine sand to cast objects in aluminium. Olivine sand requires less water than silica sands while still holding the mold together during handling and pouring of the metal. Less water means less gas (steam) to vent from the mold as metal is poured into the mold.[24]

In Finland, olivine is marketed as an ideal rock for sauna stoves because of its comparatively high density and resistance to weathering under repeated heating and cooling. Olivine is also used to tap blast furnaces in the steel industry, acting as a plug, removed in each steel run.

 

 

 

 

Uses of Olivine

Olivine is a mineral that is not often used in industry. Most olivine is used in metallurgical processes as a slag conditioner. High-magnesium olivine (forsterite) is added to blast furnaces to remove impurities from steel and to form a slag.

Olivine has also been used as a refractory material. It is used to make refractory brick and used as a casting sand. Both of these uses are in decline as alternative materials are less expensive and easier to obtain.

http://geology.com/minerals/olivine.shtml

 

ad4ff2fac1b47d0d1605984b92f16733.png

http://www.lkabminerals.com/en/Products/Olivine/

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Unobscured Vision

You guys make me very happy. All of these wonderful ideas that are so right-in-your-face practical ... and you can be counted on to back it up with source and reference material.

 

This, my friends, is Science and Engineering at it's best. :yes:

 

 

Could we use the soil bound chemical i.e. Olivine to create structures rather than having to import any as it would appear to have good thermal quality?

 

The aluminium foundry industry uses olivine sand to cast objects in aluminium. Olivine sand requires less water than silica sands while still holding the mold together during handling and pouring of the metal. Less water means less gas (steam) to vent from the mold as metal is poured into the mold.[24]

In Finland, olivine is marketed as an ideal rock for sauna stoves because of its comparatively high density and resistance to weathering under repeated heating and cooling. Olivine is also used to tap blast furnaces in the steel industry, acting as a plug, removed in each steel run.

 

 

 

 

Uses of Olivine

Olivine is a mineral that is not often used in industry. Most olivine is used in metallurgical processes as a slag conditioner. High-magnesium olivine (forsterite) is added to blast furnaces to remove impurities from steel and to form a slag.

Olivine has also been used as a refractory material. It is used to make refractory brick and used as a casting sand. Both of these uses are in decline as alternative materials are less expensive and easier to obtain.

http://geology.com/minerals/olivine.shtml

 

ad4ff2fac1b47d0d1605984b92f16733.png

http://www.lkabminerals.com/en/Products/Olivine/

What you are suggesting is that we, what, just 3D fabricate Structural Trusses and other useful structural items (like walls) on-site from the materials we have available in the soil and rocks that would otherwise be cast aside as waste or ignored completely, saving upwards of 50% or more of our Gross Weight that we'd otherwise have to haul to Mars? And that we, what, use that now-freed up 50% (or more) Gross Weight savings for other, equally practical things that could (and likely would) save our bacon in a pinch?! :D

 

You, sir, are a steely-eyed genius. :yes:That's a fan-effing-tastic idea. We'll need to research this one further to make sure everything pans out.

 

 

Notes of interest......

 

1) Building color for northern mining...dark colors to absorb the sun's radiant heat. (tech available)

 

2) Building and equipment surface ionizer....prevent static charged dust from clinging to everything. (tech available)

 

3) Building design should incorporate high mount tie-off mechanism, tie buildings to "surface staples". (tech available)

 

4) Retracting/folding solar arrays and turbine blades, storm ready. (tech available)

 

5) Medical module, Communications module (enclosed with retractable outer antennae), Industrial Lab Module. (tech available)

 

6) Maintenance Module (repairs , small tooling, "printers and supplies", small spares  (tech available)

 

7) Storage for large spares and supplies. (tech available)

 

8) Battery backups for all modules, mobile units with cords (emergency). (tech available)

 

9) Small conventional reactor/generator (industrial power and site power when dust storms last weeks). (tech available)

 

10) Tracked vehicles for ice work or when weight needs to be displaced, other vehicles wide composite wheels. (tech available)

 

11) Sparkless design for all machinery. (tech available)

 

12) Cold climate heat/wrap/blower tech for machinery (tech available)

 

13) Enclose vehicle batteries and all parts possible into housing, expose only final main drive components and actuators, see (12). (tech available)

 

14) Industrial processing building......water, oxygen, hydrogen, methane, etc.....(tech available)

 

15) Industrial processing building...dirty tech...mineral processing. (tech available)

 

16) Actual process type and equipment needed for #14 and #15, (use tech available today) and  (judgement call on new tech testing, ongoing)

 

17) Emergency stores on mothership, till processing up and running on site, ie: oxygen and water, (need mothership)

 

18) Drop/ landing system for spare fuel, for Dragon V variant lift off

 

19) Computer access to mothership/satellite for communication and internet access to Earth....knowledge base. (tech available)

 

20) Medical module could house life sciences...ie: health issues, radiation exposure, etc. (tech available)

 

21) Dispersed finished product storage..."don't put all eggs in one basket".    (tech available)

 

22) Rely as much as possible on renewable energy and storage for non industrial uses...reactor as industrial and emergency backup in times of extended non charging weather...ie: week(s) long dust storms causing non existent charging ability. (tech available)

 

23) Suit designs....standard outdoor and heavy duty, wear resistant mining suit. (tech available)

 

24) Keep all vehicles at a size that we can get them to the surface with tech available, or split into units that will work.

 

25) First priority should be to set up small camp and focus on industrial production......water...oxygen.....(most important items...period)

 

break time...will continue later.......for every ones consideration of these points...........start shooting............. :woot:

Gosh, that's a lot of incredible points/info. DD comes in swinging.  :laugh: Expect nothing less from our Canadian Contingent. What can be said about all of this except 'wow!' :D

 

We're making lots of great headway, folks. Keep it rolling in.  (Y)

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DocM

One of the more mundane needs will be laundering clothing, which normally uses huge amounts of water. Not a problem on Earth, but it has better uses elsewhere. It also takes a lot of energy to dry clothes, and a water recovery system would need to be added.

Dry cleaning is possible, but the solvents are often nasty.

Solution: CO2 laundering

This can use dry ice pellets or snow, available on Mars, but lately SFCO2 (supercritical fluid CO2) has come into use. CO2 gas is made unto a superfluid under pressure and used in a special washer, and depressurization does the drying. SFCO2 is a great solvent, and the gas supply could be from the Martian atmosphere.

Better yet - 99% of the CO2 can be captured and reused in the system.

Already commercially available.

Tersus_2.jpg

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Unobscured Vision

... and we have DocM's Masterpiece Contribution of the Day. Fantastic. :yes:

 

Funny how a mundane thing like laundry would become a big issue, eh? That's okay, because this Think Tank is on the job.

 

Day Five, and we've already:

 

- Figured out how to save 70% on Payload Mass versus NASA's ideas (if not more) using 3D & 4D Printing, Inflatable Modules/Habitation and Renewable/Recycling/Reclamation Technologies

- Figured out how to make the Colony generate huge sums of revenue for the Companies taking part in the Project -- making future expansions and even future Colonies much more attractive investments for these as well as other Companies and even spurring on new and better technologies. In short, the coffers will be full, all investments into the Project will be returned, and the need for technologies to advance will create business and start another technological evolution in most fields. 

- Figured out how to properly choose Colony Sites based upon ever-improving techniques and criteria

- Learned how we need to go about growing things on Mars

- Learned that we can indeed use the Martian Environment to our advantage

- Learned that there are no substantial reasons why Humans cannot Colonize Mars long-term aside from a lack of commitment on the part of Earth-based Space Programmes to do so. We have all the technologies needed to sustain life and health there currently.

 

Not just 'yeah'. BOOYAH. :) Nicely done, folks. I think we've proven it can be done.

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Draggendrop

Continuation of notes of interest....although some points may seem stupid or out of place...please review and put honest thought to these points and shoot me as much as you can...some may not be of immediate concern...but will come back to bite us later....Thank's in advance..... :)

 

Destruction of Habitat

 

The human species has done a poor job of environmental protection on Earth...Time to make sure this is not repeated on our new home...Mars

Initially with a colony setup and mining commencement, there will be a few small mess's, but we must have an action plan to shortly institute as soon as possible to address environmental responsibility.

 

Items to be addressed.....

 

1) Human biological waste...septic, food wastes, plant debris from greenhouse.

2) Industrial waste and tailings....we must use and repurpose as much material as possible...and then try to remediate where possible.

3) We will initially be using a conventional reactor until a thorium unit is running, in which case, the thorium unit will be able to assist in consuming conventional reactor waste products.(sorry..no way around it ...for now...patience, thorium may be a go by then)

4) Used chemical remediation.

5) Garbage remediation, packaging, refuse of other sorts, repurpose, chipper, convert, bale, etc.
6) Create a program and lobby all nations of Earth to sign on to the program before landing on Mars and hold them accountable.
7) Mars is a sovereign planet...no area to be owned by any individual, corporation or country.
8) Some form of "Space Rule Of Law" on Mars

9) Satellite slot allotments and frequency distribution.

10) No space debris in orbit...It must be removed...

11) Weather satellite network for Storm Warnings and solar CME's.

12) Distress beacon frequency monitoring.

13) Any resources exported from Mars to any other planetary body, subject to a fee to remediate the martian surface....environmental responsibility.
14) Lifeform discovery...may happen..ie microbial...it is our duty to preserve their species at all costs. No genetic alterations.
15) No military weapons allowed on Mars...keep them in orbit...or on Earth

16) No nuclear destructive testing on Mars.

 

Break time....For everyones review....start shooting...Cheers

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Arachno 1D

Have NASA any plans on long term journeys for human waste.Whats are its main constituents i.e. can it be processed to be used as liquid/solid fertilizer for a growing medium?

 

Both liquid and solid industrial waste as we are trying to conserve as much payload weight as possible will need reprocessing and allocating for other duties where possible so we are going to also need two processing plants at the get go and a site for safe disposal of any tailing and fluids.

 

With regard to alien life maybe we will once set up,open a science department that not only looks for life but also recommends how we proceed should what we are doing encroaches on their land [after all it would be their planet as we are the invaders from Earth].They may also need to look at the impact of any biological,chemical,plant or animal life brought from Earth on the planet ecosystem.

 

Given the amount of off planet transport we would also need to set up a safe area away from habitat, after all we don't want any accidents that would affect the systems set up for those on the planet to survive.

 

Satellite systems yes good call we would probably need long range planet comms and some form of GPS system to be established both for the "New-Martians" but also for control of automated machinery.

 

 

No military weapons allowed on Mars

 

Hmm depends what you mean but some form of side arm or long gun may not be an option at some point during the settlement

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FloatingFatMan

Hmm depends what you mean but some form of side arm or long gun may not be an option at some point during the settlement

 

Who're we gonna shoot? Other humans?  Haven't we done enough of that on Earth without dragging it to other worlds too?

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DocM

With a large colony comes the need for cops, and absent a truely effective non-lethal method (which doesnt yet exist - no, it isnt Tasers) a sidearm may be necessary. Boys will be boys, and psychosis is always possible.

As to liquid waste disposal, they're already reprocessing liquid waste and urine on ISS. According to NASA the best solution is a combination of recycling the water from the waste, using some as fertilizer via composting and burning the rest for electricity using a process developed at Northwestern University.

Another possibility is incinerating it in a plasma furnace, which would reduce it to its chemical constituents. These then become potentially useful raw materials

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Arachno 1D

With a large colony comes the need for cops, and absent a truely effective non-lethal method (which doesnt yet exist - no, it isnt Tasers) a sidearm may be necessary. Boys will be boys, and psychosis is always possible.

 

We could just reduce their oxygen quota :rolleyes:

This said not too distant in the future if the civilization however small it is, will need some form of legal and moral code as there will be people of both sexes from mixed cultures and nations.So we cant go for US democracy that just wouldn't seem right  :devil:

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DocM

Correction: the US isn't a democracy. It's a constitutionally limited republic.

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FloatingFatMan

With a large colony comes the need for cops, and absent a truely effective non-lethal method (which doesnt yet exist - no, it isnt Tasers) a sidearm may be necessary. Boys will be boys, and psychosis is always possible.

 

For the first few years at least, anyone going to the colony will be a scientist.  Not really the sort of person you need to worry about sneaking into your cabin in the middle of the night... :p

Correction: the US isn't a democracy. It's a constitutionally limited republic.

 

Was.  Was a constitutionally limited republic.  These days, oligarchy would be more accurate! :p

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DocM

Oligarchial states are often controlled by a few prominent families. Next year we have a chance to break that cycle by showing both Jeb and the Hildebeast the door.

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Unobscured Vision

Good morning, fellow Colonists. You folks can be counted on to bring very, very good and necessary discussion to the table with the morning coffee. Never stop doing it. :)

 

- System of Administration/Governance: Colonies in any part of the Solar System would be under the direct jurisdiction of whichever Government(s), Corporation(s), Independent Contractor(s) or Privateer(s) are footing the bill. International Law applies, as recognized by the United Nations, just as it would on an Oil Rig, Undersea Research Facility, Antarctica, etc. The rules seem to be very clear-cut about this kind of thing -- Sites and a small area around each site can be claimed for Commercial Purposes anywhere in the Solar System except for "Heritage Sites" (such as the Apollo Mission areas, Venera Landing Locations, etc) and other locations deemed hazardous. This goes all the way up to whole Asteroids, but not Dwarf Planets or larger. SpaceX, for example, could not claim the entirety of Jupiter and its' Moons as their property any more than the United States could.

 

As for how to actually Govern and Administer a Mars Colony .. that's not for me to decide. I'd be too much Utopia Planitia and not enough Acidalia Planitia.  :laugh: Obviously we would need rules that are fair and that everyone can live by without being over-reaching or intrusive.

 

Environmental Concerns/Custodial: Yes, we're going full-on Green Mode on Mars ... and yes, we'll plant trees too. We cannot pollute Mars under any circumstances. Accidents will occur, mistakes will be made -- we all acknowledge this and accept that fact. We cannot go out of our way to be ignorant or lazy as on Earth. Recycle, repurpose, reuse whatever we can as often as we can. Rock piles are fine -- we'll repurpose those into structural items. Industrial waste, slag, that sort of mess ... we'll do what we can with it but there will be some waste and we will need to deal with it responsibly and safely.

 

Waste Disposal/Reuse: We can get Methane and other useful chemicals from Waste Products. Consider them a resource.  :/

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Unobscured Vision

Law Enforcement: Sadly, this one is mandatory. At first, the only ones going to the Colony will be Scientists, Engineers, etc. who will be thrilled to be exploring a new world and solving the challenges ... for a while. Everyone, even a worlds-class Scientist (and that'll be a hell of an item on one's Resume ... "Project Scientist - Mars Colony One") has a bad day. Or bad Sol. Whatever. The point is, a problem child will threaten the Colony. Someone could have a mental breakdown. Some previously-unknown lifeform in hibernation could reanimate and run amuk. We will need Security Personnel.

 

So the question then becomes how do we deal with miscreants without blasting a hole in the Dome (if we build one) or damaging much-needed gear? We don't want to outright kill them in their Spacesuit unless there's no other option. We sure as heck don't want to vent the entire Dome into the near-vacuum of the Martian Environment either, so this rules out firearms. Tasers are not a good idea either, because the electrical discharge will fry a spacesuit's systems and damage the suit itself in the process.

 

Honestly, I don't know what we do about this one. I don't like lethal force solutions, and I don't know anyone who does ... and preferably, we wouldn't have to go there but we need to be prepared for that contingency. Maybe a small dose (5-uses, in case 1 isn't enough) of knockout gas triggered by remote, code-protected so that it can't be accidentally used (like a Fire Extinguisher) embedded in the Spacesuit?

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Arachno 1D

You missed one: What about indigenous life forms if found, what protocols are to be enacted to prevent the damage to their world?

Do NASA have anything on this?

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Unobscured Vision

15) No military weapons allowed on Mars...keep them in orbit...or on Earth

16) No nuclear destructive testing on Mars.

 

I'm going to expound upon this.

 

No Military research or testing of any kind is to take place anywhere on Mars, it's Moons, or in Martian Space. We've had enough of this nonsense pissing contest B.S. Time to dump the Neanderthal genes and evolve already, Humans. (I'm going to snip the rest of my comment, as it cannot be Scientifically proven.)

 

 

You missed one: What about indigenous life forms if found what protocols are to be enacted to prevent the damage to their world?

 

Preserve their Biosphere. We will work around that Biosphere. Under no circumstances are we to remove those lifeforms from Mars or from their Biosphere into our own (such as "taking them back to the Lab"). We are to go to them. Mobile Labs, Containment protocols, etc. Handle them as if they were an infectious disease, because they very well could be if they come into contact with us and vice versa. No contact at all. We will study them, of course -- thoroughly but carefully. Hopefully we can do that work without harming them and without them harming us.

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DocM

You missed one: What about indigenous life forms if found, what protocols are to be enacted to prevent the damage to their world?

Do NASA have anything on this?

There are existing protocols, but in fact Mars is already contaminated as its impossible to totally sterilize landers. All you can do is minimize the number if bugs, and some Earth bugs were probably blasted there by meteor impacts. Tough, they are, and some are growing on the outside of ISS.

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Draggendrop

Earth's toughest organisms can live on Mars.....Arctic Lichen...and they are tough and very old....age can be determined by size in some instances...

 

 

To see if they could find terrestrial life tough enough for Mars, the researchers collected specimens of organisms that were found in some of the most extreme and inhospitable places on Earth. They collected organisms from inside rocks, on mountain tops, and in the polar regions. These are places that might come closest to the environment on Mars. The researchers then created an environmental chamber that simulated conditions on Mars: ultraviolet radiation, infrared radiation, martian soil, low pressure, atmospheric mix, temperature ranging from -50 C to 23 C, the whole bit. They threw the collected specimens in the chamber to see if any could survive.

 

 

After a little over a month had passed, the researchers found that some lichen and cyanobacteria were still alive. Most surprisingly, the lichen and cyanobacteria didn

post-546174-0-65455400-1434392479.jpg

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Arachno 1D

Just watched an interesting new device under development that might find a use on Mars for cleaning and decontamination.The one demonstrated is a hand held device that pumps a small stream of water through the head whilst generating miniscule bubbles in the water along with ultrasonics.Its claimed the device works as good as an autoclave at removing contaminants.

 

9eb72dd5a37bb73d3353a4fbdb4b7459.png  9bade7b403dbd3903e3d123e9bdf763a.png

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Unobscured Vision

Continuing the discussion.

 

Engineering/Systems Protocols: Something we will need to do, as much as possible, will be to use common components among our hardware. This will make everything easier to repair, replacement parts are easier to transport to Mars (less unique items = less weight & occupy less space), and if needed, units that are no longer functioning can have still-useful parts salvaged from them to be used again. Remember the problem Apollo 13 had with the CO2 Air Canisters? Round ones in one spacecraft, square ones in the other? We need to avoid that scenario. One common part among all units whenever possible, down to electrical components when able. Anything and everything we can do to save weight, cost, space, and inconvenience we need to do it whenever possible. Obviously we won't be able to do this in every single case.

 

- Use low-power Systems when possible: In our Spaceflight experience, and in my own research, NASA and other Space Programs have epitomized the word overkill when it comes to power-hungry systems on board their spacecraft and on the ground. Advances in Power Generation, Power Storage, and (especially) systems' Consumption of Power to do the same tasks have improved so much since the ISS was designed that it boggles the mind. In some cases, power consumption is 10% for the same task by comparison. So not only can we (and should we) take advantage of these advances, but properly-employed Protocols and Procedures in conjunction with those advances should allow the Colony to enjoy a 60%-80% reduction in power needs compared to an equivalent NASA operation while simultaneously generating 25%-45% additional power which then can be stored for later use. The Colony can employ Powerwall Technologies (slightly modified, if necessary) to store this energy; and since it is a SpaceX/Tesla Corporation Product, the net cost will actually be zero (if charged as a "write-off") since the Colony is a SpaceX-Led Project, saving money in the Project Budget and the Parent Company.

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Unobscured Vision

- Making use of Wind Power on Mars: Dust Storms will happen. It's a fact of living on Mars. We can make use of them. It'll take some research due to the atmosphere, but why not try to generate power from them? We'll have to make some special considerations due to the dust, and seal up the gear accordingly.

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Arachno 1D

Would Vertical axis turbines work better under high winds and give more power per unit with less maintenance?

 

 

2a6a2d8dc395ded68ec33215830321f1.png

 

ertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs), which may be as efficient as current horizontal axis systems, might be practical , simpler and significantly cheaper to build and maintain than horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs). They also have other inherent advantages, such as they are always facing the wind, which might make them a significant player in our quest for cheaper, cleaner renewable sources of electricity

http://www.turbinesinfo.com/types-of-wind-turbines/

 

935e67a057f90baa6c3b7b776d5abef0.png

 

Vertical Axis Turbines:

 

 

Vertical axis turbines have two or three blades that spin around a vertical, or upright, shaft. The turbines do not need computers to move them into the wind, because the blades catch the wind from any direction. The gearbox is located near the ground at the base of the tower, which is thin and light. Vertical axis turbines produce less electricity than horizontal axis turbines because their blades are closer to the ground where the wind is slowed down by obstacles, such as trees.

http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/models/miscellanous/Wind-Turbine.html

 

a71b4d6ae3834e1eaef82c77cb7fa24b.png

 

Renewable energy produced from the wind has garnered much attention and support in recent years but is often criticized for its low output and lack of reliability. But now a super power wind turbine has come along that may be just what the renewable energy industry needs. The MagLev wind turbine, which was first unveiled at the Wind Power Asia exhibition in Beijing, is expected take wind power technology to the next level with magnetic levitation.

 

http://inhabitat.com/super-powered-magnetic-wind-turbine-maglev/

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DocM

Wind power isn't practical on Mars. Hell, its barely practical on Earth.

The atmosphere of Mars is very thin, about 1% of the pressure on Earth, so it has less than 1% of the energy of the same velocity wind on Earth. That means you need about 100x the turbine blade surface area to capture the same energy. Scaling then becomes an issue.

Also, wind happens because there's a pressure gradient between two areas of the atmosphere. Pressure gradients are caused by differences in temparature and humidity.

On Earth both are strongly driven by solar heating and by the hydrologic cycle.

On Mars there's far less solar heating and almost no hydrologic cycle. Because of this strong-ish Martian winds mostly occur around dawn and dusk because of temperature differences across the terminator.

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Unobscured Vision

Wind power isn't practical on Mars. Hell, its barely practical on Earth.

The atmosphere of Mars is very thin, about 1% of the pressure on Earth, so it has less than 1% of the energy of the same velocity wind on Earth. That means you need about 100x the turbine blade surface area to capture the same energy. Scaling then becomes an issue.

Also, wind happens because there's a pressure gradient between two areas of the atmosphere. Pressure gradients are caused by differences in temparature and humidity.

On Earth both are strongly driven by solar heating and by the hydrologic cycle.

On Mars there's far less solar heating and almost no hydrologic cycle. Because of this strong-ish Martian winds mostly occur around dawn and dusk because of temperature differences across the terminator.

 

That's normally true. I'm talking about the cases during Dust Storms, when our Solar Generation technologies will be rendered useless. The winds on Mars during those storms can reach up to 90 kph, and I proposed an idea to make use of those winds to provide the Colony with some supplemental power. Obviously, the Colony would be in a "low power" mode of Operation to conserve energy, because those storms can last for months -- these Wind Turbines can help mitigate that to some degree if we are not using Nuclear Fission Reactors.

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    • By Unobscured Vision
      Neowin ThinkTank -- "Gardening on Mars":
       
      Objectives: We have eight years to design a successful Botanical Mission that will allow us to grow any variety of plant life (including edibles) that we choose on Mars. We need to define parameters, determine what we have at our disposal (both on Earth and on Mars), what technologies are available to us that will assist in that endeavor, and what we ultimately want to accomplish with the Botanical Mission once it is implemented on Mars.
       
      We will likely want (and need) to conduct extensive research on the flora in all stages of growth to determine if it is safe to consume, and to determine what changes occur due to the Martian soil and other environmental factors.  The Botanical Mission is critical for future long-term Settlements on Mars, and the data gathered during this and subsequent Missions is vital.
       
      Personnel Required: (3) It will require a Botanist (reference), a Biologist specializing in Agricultural Science (reference), and an Environmental Geologist (reference), all preferably skilled in Research and Field Experimentation as well as Practical Application of these talents. These individuals will actually grow many varieties of plants in a controlled environment, and the work will be labor-intensive at times. These individuals should be physically fit, motivated, enthusiastic, professional, and able to do the work required. The parameters and requirements concerning these Personnel will become better defined as the Mission Parameters evolve.
       
      Equipment Required: Obviously, this Mission will require payload weight and specialized equipment. Fortunately, the technologies and gear needed for this endeavour are mostly lightweight and small. Recycling and ISRU Technologies have had a true revolution in the last five years, and these will greatly assist with the Botanical Mission -- in fact, they will make this Mission possible at substantially lower payload weights and with far less financial costs than they would have even five or ten years ago. Massive improvements in 3D Printing technologies have lowered these weight commitments even further.
       
      What will be required, from a payload standpoint, should be quite low relative to the other Missions. Remember that overall Payload Weight, while quite large, is still a factor and we need to save weight where/however we can.
       
      Also remember that the Overall Mission Plan is we're building a large Geodesic Dome with the Main Mission Team. That construction will occur first. Our Garden will likely be isolated from the Dome to preserve the Air Purification and Conversion System until it is proven to not be an impediment to that system -- unless we've been forced to have our Garden in a smaller, separate Dome.
       
      Other Requirements/Concerns/Objectives: This is what we need to figure out also.
       
    • By Unobscured Vision
      Hello, science buffs, independent researchers and armchair nerds! (And yes, that's a good thing!)
      I welcome all of you to the second Neowin ThinkTank.
      In this ThinkTank, we'll explore how a motivated Company, Partnership of Companies, or even a Governmental Space Entity like ESA, NASA, Roscosmos and others could (and probably should) pursue an extended, committed, "Two Decades" Probe + Multiple Landers* mission set to the Solar Systems' "Gas Giants" -- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
      (*Number of Landers per Probe depends on the destination, obviously)
      In this ThinkTank, we should strive to explore every aspect of what a committed, motivated effort like this will require to succeed. We should also be mindful of a budget, since financial concerns are of (usually) vital importance before a project of any scale is given the green-light. We also should consider whether to use "flight-proven" designs such as Cassini and simply update them with the latest hardware & software (then modify that design to accommodate the additional Landers), or if we should "start from the ground up" with an all-new design.
      We will also actually plan the Mission(s) themselves. That's a key part of any Probe mission -- where are we going? The science packages, even the very hardware and software itself, depends on that answer. Since each Probe will be going to one destination only, we can dedicate each Probe to its' destination as well as which Landers or Atmospheric Entry Probes we equip it with. Come on, you know you want to send AEP's down into Saturn, Uranus and Neptune! Now's the chance to actually plan those kinds of Missions!
      Then we will actually decide which launch hardware should be used for which platform, and when it can be launched. We have the means to simulate the entire flight(s). And yes, it'll be Kerbal Space Program. (Just kidding....? )
      For anyone not familiar with the Neowin ThinkTank, it's a very special study that the entire Community is invited to contribute to. Think of it as an exercise, an "Intellectual Interest Topic", where those members with the know-how, the fortitude, the moxy and the savvy can pool their collective talents into one "Grand Objective". Our last ThinkTank, "Establish Mars Colony One (and Two, and Three, and ...)" can be found here: http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1259650-neowin-think-tank-mars-colony-one-and-two-and-three-and/