Designing a New Palmer Station
Part 1: Planning the Habitat
Each team will work together to brainstorm the needs, challenges, and
questions related to their topic area. At the end of the first brainstorming
session, your team should have produced:
- a "dream overview" of your plan, existing independent of
practicalities such as $$$
- a description of the main environmental problems or practical considerations
your unit must face
- a set of questions/challenges to raise for cross-team discussion
- some draft sketches to share with the whole habitat team
- a list of design questions that you would like to ask engineers, researchers,
or scientists regarding the construction of your Antarctic habitat
If you are linked to our on-line resources, you will have the opportunity
to send questions to our team of scientists and students working on this
|Transportation and Engineering Unit|
The TSE Unit is responsible for site development, construction,
vehicular activity, rescue operations, and managing/operating fire-fighting
Habitat Support Unit
The HS Unit is necessary to the survival and operation of all buildings.
One of its most important functions is generating energy for the station.
HS manages wastes, water, and storage and stockpiling of essential supplies.
HS is responsible for emergency backup energy systems. It also separates,
recycles, and prepares for shipment of wastes that can't be left at the
Science and Technology Unit
This unit conducts the basic research and is the primary reason
that all the other units exits. Lab facilities and materials to support
the work of researchers must be state-of-the art, interconnected, stable,
and in some cases, portable. Identify the areas of scientific research possible
in Antarctica (current and future) and design facilities to support that
research. Remember: what is "there" is what is worked with!
Operations Control Center
OCC is the nerve center of the base. It must monitor and manage
all the information flowing into, within, and out of the proposed station.
You must consider issues of: systems monitoring, environmental protections,
communication, computing, and information
n management, and office space.
Human Needs Unit
The HN unit is concerned with the health and recreation of station
inhabitants. Plan for leisure and exercise, personal hygiene, food preparation,
health maintenance and living quarters.
- Electric vehicle batteries don't fare well in cold.
- Fire is currently the greatest danger to the base.
- Outside construction only occurs during austral summer.
- At present, diesel fuel brought in by the two icebreakers, the Nathaniel
Palmer and the R/V Polar Duke , is the only reliable
and practical way to generate electrical and most heat energy.
- Fresh water is currently "mined" by melting snow or distilled
- If you run pipes below the surface, they must be heated.
- Antarctica is the largest source of fresh water in the world.
- The sun is totally above the horizon from September 23 to March 21st.
Twilight lasts approximately a month, followed by polar night from April
15 to August 15.
- Average wind speed is 6 knots and the station sometimes experiences
periods of high winds, up to 70 knots.
- There is significant precipitation, both rain and snowfall.
- The mean temperature at Palmer is -3 C (-26 F) and ranges from 2 C
(36 F) in the summer and -10 C (-14 F) in the winter.
- Palmer is not serviced by aircraft, as no permanent landing field is
maintained there. Ship access is normally from September to June.
- Outdoor recreation is severely limited by the cold.
- Isolation and cramped quarters can create tension and stress.
- Smoking and substance use is forbidden.
- Serious medical emergencies currently are handled by evacuation off
Some environmental issues to consider:
- The Antarctic Treaty aims to keep Antarctica the cleanest region in
the world. Except for human waste, everything else in Antarctica must be
separated and sent off the continent in a process called "retrograding."
- Nuclear wastes (but not nuclear power) and certain chemicals are banned.
- What are some other energy sources? How might they be incorporated
Part 2: Presenting Your Proposal
- Select one member from each design team to serve on an Evaluation Panel
to hear design proposals from all teams.
- One spokesperson from each design team will have 5-8 minutes to present
the team proposal for the New Palmer Station. The spokesperson may use
visuals, handouts, or any other materials to support the team proposal.
- Each Evaluation Panel member will assign a score of 1-10 (highest score
= 50) to:
* attention to all five areas outlined in the original task
* movement beyond the current status at Palmer
- At the conclusion of all presentation, Evaluation Panel members will
share their scoring and invite discussion from the entire class.
Part 3: Planning Your Work and Working Your Plan!
- Design teams reassemble and make any changes to their original plans.
- Decide on a project plan for showcasing the team design.
- Implement the plan. (This could be a 3-dimensional construction, a
drawing, a CAD graphic, a computer-generated presentation using HyperCard,
HyperStudio, Kid Pix, PowerPoint, ClarisWorks slide show and others, or
any other workable idea that the team agrees upon and that can be implemented
in a reasonable time frame) [Note: Look for a new HyperCard plug-in that
allows stacks to be served over the Web.]
- Prepare to display your final effort on the day of the Antarctica 2
Blackline Master #19