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#1 2020-11-21 19:07:56

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,582

Apex structures for mid-latitude locations on Mars.

I am interested in making structure from the natural materials that seem to exist where ice slabs are in the temperate regions of Mars.
I am interested in the apex.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apex_(geometry)
While of course we might think to make pyramids on Mars, I am more thinking of berms, with vaults in them.  The vaults likely would require an arch of a suitable materials such as bricks of quality.
f6FsLTP.png
Dark blue to the south might be ice covered water, dark blue to the north would be ice.  This is for the northern hemisphere.
Black is a vault, apparently the lights are turned out, or else my paint mysteriously only wanted to use black and I gave up.
At the ends of the berms ice could be mined to create a hollow which would be filled with regolith removed from the area of the construction.  My notion of mining would be to have solar powered tents that could be moved.  The evaporation from the ice to be captured and compressed into make-up water.
So, this thing could expand eastward and westward.
What else to include?
Well what might you like?
Solar panels on the south face?
A solar receiver on the apex?
Heliostats to point light to the apex receiver?
-------
This does not say that you cannot also include your glass greenhouses and domes proximate to it.
-------
A concern is that in some locations the pyramid/berm would be undermined by melting permafrost.  So, that has to be considered/handled.
That's a start.....
Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-11-22 09:24:58)


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#2 2020-11-22 09:25:25

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,582

Re: Apex structures for mid-latitude locations on Mars.

Here is a top view of the previous image, a possible version.
cB1Lc5o.png

I am hoping that this method might work for low quality compressed materials for the Pyramid/Berm:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn6tyBrYzTk

So, perhaps this says what the problem is with the insight mole.  It's making a brick under it.

I like this method, as it has a body, and two "Mouths".  One East, One West.

I feel that it could make sense to bond solar panels directly to the south face of the structure.  This would help to cool the panels during day, and of course night cold would be what provides the cooling.

A different energy collection method would be to have a pipe(s), on the apex, that heliostats could focus reflected sunlight on.  A fluid needed inside.  I think water steam might do.  As long is you design correctly and don't fill the pipes with liquid water, maybe they would not burst in the night cold.  Also, it would make sense to drain off water and steam when that was a danger.

The steam, then could be used to warm the vault(s).  These might be massive enough to stay warm enough for human survival, during dust storm activity.

Food stuffs could be stored on the north side of the berm, by some method or another frozen or freeze dried.  Rats and other pests would not occur in Martian atmosphere.

And we have Ice Slabs of enormous size as we have seen before:
https://www.space.com/30502-mars-giant- … y-mro.html

So such a Mars Worm Berm smile could continue for far distances East and West.  You could of course start other ones further south or north.

I would think that the ice covered bodies of water would nominally be of "Ice Water".  Well actually, if fresh water then 32 degF to 39 degF.
Not going to bother with Metric this time of course 0 degC to 3.88888889 degC   OK, I did.

While this might support aquiculture, I would also want to have transparent/translucent of Plastic? filled with water, and heated with the steam from the apex pipes.   This could allow fast growing aquatic plants to thrive.  (The bags would be down below the ice).

And of course then if someone wants to make glass domes, and greenhouses, then go right ahead.  Practice makes perfect.

As I mention in the last post, foundations for these things will be very important.  Handling building in a permafrost region.  Bedrock would be good.  Or perhaps microwaves and salt water could allow you to extract the water very deep, so it would not be such a problem.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-11-22 09:48:08)


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#3 2020-11-22 10:21:00

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,280
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Re: Apex structures for mid-latitude locations on Mars.

In the early years of the Mars Society, an engineer named Bruce Mackenzie proposed brick structures for Mars. He pointed out brick could be made easily from Mars regolith by added water, pressing in a mould and lightly heating. He proposed Roman architecture using brick: barrel vaults, groin vaults, etc. To ensure pressure didn't blow out the bricks, he proposed burying the brick structure in regolith so deep that the weight from overburden would exceed pressure from air inside. And because this counters one force with another, yes it would be weight, not mass. To ensure brick walls don't blow out sideways, you also have to pile regolith on the sides.

A brilliant design, and Bruce is a friend. He was founder of the Mars Homestead Project, and he invited me to be part of it. I was honoured. Because brick was his thing, of course brick was part of Mars Homestead. However, I had to point out that air pressure will find a way out. With nothing but brick and mortar holding in pressure, air will find a weakness and erode a crack into a channel. The air will blow a path through the regolith back to the surface. This will leak. So the other leader of Mars Homestead (at the time) Mark Homnick suggested we paint the brick with a sealant. Ok, that'll work. The sealant would have to be painted on the inside of the brick to ensure pressure presses it against the brick. Furthermore, near the edge of the berm (Mars Homestead phase 1 used a hillside) where an access door pierces the berm/hill, there will be little regolith holding in the brick. So we chose to use some other material for access tunnels. Around a door or anything too close to the surface, we could use fibreglass or aluminum or steel.

Some historical vaults:
vault-types-ribs-barrel-groin-rib-cross.jpg
Cloister vault:
220px-Klostervalv.png 220px-Rome_synagogue_dome_view_from_the_hill_Aventine.JPG

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#4 2020-11-22 11:05:26

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,582

Re: Apex structures for mid-latitude locations on Mars.

Very helpful and interesting materials Robert!

When getting at the ice, we also have to deal with regolith, so why not build stuff out of it?   I think it would be more efficient than tunneling downward.

Things that might crack the structure would be settling, Marsquakes, and thermal cooling seasonal and during a dust storm.

As for Marsquakes, the ones discovered so far are rather mild.  However I would not trust that.  It could be that now and then Mars really rips it's crust.  For instance if a large volcano having cooled and contracted, perhaps it separates from the surrounding crust and falls down a bit.  Not very often, but that could really shake things up.

So, the coating you recommend should have some flex and stretch in it, I would think.

In addition, I think vaults could have graded safety ratings.   The best would be maintained better, and may be suitable for human habitation.

Less well kept vaults could be for industrial processes which may also even be toxic in results, so perhaps it would always be wise to wear a suit like a SpaceX flight suit in them, both to deal with toxic situations, and maybe sudden depressurization.

------

Also, I would mention, that it would not hurt to have some nuclear power with the setup, to help keep people warm and in lighting in adverse situations.

------

And maybe the Perchlorates could be collected out of the soil and stored for an Oxygen supply in adverse situations such as Global Dust Storms.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Ob … &FORM=VIRE


Thanks again for posting.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-11-22 11:18:13)


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#5 2020-11-22 20:40:36

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 20,263

Re: Apex structures for mid-latitude locations on Mars.

I know that we have talked about bricks in several topics and here is a paper for PRODUCING A BRICK FROM A MARTIAN SOIL SIMULATE

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#6 2020-11-23 04:56:59

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,582

Re: Apex structures for mid-latitude locations on Mars.

------
Yes bricks have been on various minds.
I would like to deviate from the use of individual bricks, based on the notion that Martian soil can be compressed into singular objects due, it is said to the higher levels of iron oxide that is apparently present in Martian soil.
If you review my two illustrations, what I would now like to contemplate is a form, which based on those illustrations would be of an arch. (In this case).  It might alternately be tubular.
The form should be in the nature of a cylinder, possibly modified into an arch shape.  It would be inflated with Martian air to make it expand a bit.  It would also be tapered just a bit, so that the smaller end would point towards the existing previously built structure.  Regolith would be packed onto it possibly with some pressing actions, until it was the form of an apex.  It would be remembered that the apex berm would be self compressing.  Supposedly the iron oxide will then connect the particles to each other something like concrete.
The next step would be to have the metal form at a temperature of perhaps 25-32 degF.  No metric this time.  It slows me down.
Next, a mixture of water and Urea is injected to the outside of the mould.  Bacteria are used to plasticise the adjacent regolith.  Possibly funji is an alternative.
And yes, the process may involve water loss, but we would have giant slabs of ice the size of American states for make-up water.
You allow the bacteria or Funjii to do their work, then you cool the interior of the mould at night with ratiators.  Then you vent the pressurized gas in the morning,  Then a tractor of size pulls the mould forward, and you repeat....repeat.....repeat.
The structure built might be allowed to settle for a period of time to reveal cracks, and those might be patched.
It might be good also to have some type of stretchable liner added, particularly if it is to be an area were people would not normally wear emergency minimal space suits.
I think that is a bit of progress.

I cannot complete spell checking, at this time, as if I linger a bit suddenly my screen locks up, and I can't even log out.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-11-23 05:02:23)


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#7 2020-11-23 11:09:55

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 20,263

Re: Apex structures for mid-latitude locations on Mars.

I have noticed this same issue as many websites are wanting the new Microsoft edge or chrome to view there respective pages. The web pages are embedding long running scripts that do not end tying up the computers resources aka beaconing that was found on the yahoo pages.

Back to the pyramid shape as RobertDyck noted we need to seal as we build to equalize the pressure inside versus the pressure created by the mass of the materials making up the structure.

I think that passing a current through the iron rich regolith which would cause it to become more solid as if its a cast iron by doing so. That said a mix of ore with just the right chemistry to cause the arc to pass through it to make a material as if it got welded in place. If this is done in thin layers its would require less countermeasure mass to equalize the internal air pressures forces that want to lift and push through that material as well.

Sort of like we might 3D print the support structures to bear the weight of the regolith shielding materials.

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#8 2020-11-23 11:34:16

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 4,148

Re: Apex structures for mid-latitude locations on Mars.

For Void .... since this is a topic for which you are the creator and manager, I am aware of your preference that no one intrude

However, SpaceNut just made a contribution that begs for a nod to a now deceased engineer I met at the local Maker Space ....

There is a substance called 'thermite" that has the helpful property of containing chemicals which hold a substantial quantity of potential energy locked up in a solid form.  This substance has been used for many years as a welding agent in remote locations, such as railroads far from civilization.

I'd like to honor the memory of the deceased engineer by inviting you (and other forum members who may be qualified) to imagine a chemical makeup of the berms you are designing, so that they can be ignited in a manner similar to thermite, to produce (through combustion) a strong structure able to withstand whatever Marsquakes may occur, in addition to decades or perhaps centuries of service as passive structural members.

Caliban has spoken often of "embedded" energy ... the berms "made" in this way would certainly reflect energy investment.

(th)

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#9 2020-11-23 12:29:43

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,582

Re: Apex structures for mid-latitude locations on Mars.

------

Well (th), I was already going to propose that we allow for multiple options for methods.  I am older, so it gets harder to realize that others may still have things to teach me.  Grumpy perhaps to a bit.  I don't mind input, but when I am on a certain track, I guess I should make allowances that someone else may have conceived of something I had not.
So, I propose that the common eliments are a mold, perhaps a pyramid of compacted Martian regolith, and some way to upgrade the strenth and reliability of the more interior parts of the mass.  So I accept the alternatives and wish to be further instructed.
However, my part is remains to support my own proposals, and to listen with consideration, to other alternatives.  Thanks (th)!
I have read a bit about Thermite, interested.   But I should allow others to carry that forward, and I should continue myself with my own vision.  In other words I welcome alternate proposals.  Perhaps they might all have a place.
We are not haveing an argument, we are teaming up on this.
I like this one for my side:
https://www.themarysue.com/astronaut-pee-bricks/
https://www.themarysue.com/astronaut-pee-bricks/
I think it is too much pee for the astronauts to make, poor things.
So Urea and Calcium Chlorate would have to be manufactured for this project.
So, the arguments are mutual.  If you are going to use Thermite or something else, or if you are going to manufacture Urea and Calcium Chloride concentrates, it requires techniques and expending energy in both cases.
So, perhaps equally a problem.
I am not entirely satisfied with my previously proposed method of a form.  I am worried that it would stick inside of the formed mass.  So, I am thinking about a multifacited collapsable version perhaps involving hydrolics, and a significant strength in its interior members/beams.
-----
I sort of think of placing solar pannels on the south face of the pyramid/berm, and perhaps on the north face some kind of heavy oil, to retard deterioration.  Of course other methods could be considered.
-----
I am thinking of a sort of continuous if segmented form process, where your process takes in all the raw materials, regoith, and ice and perhaps things from the atmospehre, as if it were a mouth of a creature and forms a continuing extention of it's body.
I have not yet addressed partitioning, and also joining it to lakes, ice caves (For frozen and freeze dried foods, and yes glass domes, greenhouses, and advanced houses that use plastics and ice.  However to join them together would of course be the desire.
Please do post.  What we want is good results, however they can be obtained.
Done.


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