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#1 2021-07-24 10:24:01

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,349

Artificial Sunlight for Habitats on Mars, on Earth, or anywhere

This new topic is a spinoff from the original Artificial Suns topic by Tom Kalbus ...

This topic is offered to collect facts and practical advice for those who will be designing lighting systems for habitats for human beings away from Earth, as well as on Earth in underground shelters, or underwater shelters, as they become more popular.

tahanson43206 wrote:

For SpaceNut .... it is time for this older topic to return to view...

While the topic itself appears (my first impression) to be about solar objects (like our Sun) I am hoping to restart the topic with something a bit more practical.

Years ago, after World War II, there were a number of war surplus search lights available, and I remember then painting the sky for festivals to the South and North where small cities were located in the rural region where our family lived.  That was when I attended a one room school, to put it into context.

Those search lights were designed to produce light from a hefty electric arc.  Some movie projectors ran on the same technology, but I've only read about that. I never saw one in operation.

With Calliban's initiative to design a hefty 1 Mw fission reactor that can be deployed for 10 years at a time, we can see possibilities for Mars habitation opening that might not have been possible with less robust power sources.

It is in this context that I invite (hopefully learned) discussion of the specific requirements for an "artificial sun" lighting system for large cavernous spaces on Mars.  The spectrum of the Sun is the one we (humans and animals and plants) have "grown up" with, so I would expect an artificial sun to reproduce the beneficial spectra, while eliminating (if possible) the frequencies that serve no useful purpose, such as Ultra Violet ones.

This subtopic is introduced within the larger topic of Terraformation.

This is ** not ** Terraformation ... this would be Terrasimulation, accomplished on the scale of habitats, and not an entire planet.

(th)

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#2 2021-07-24 10:30:35

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,122

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#3 2021-07-24 11:17:50

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,349

Re: Artificial Sunlight for Habitats on Mars, on Earth, or anywhere

For SpaceNut re #2

Thanks for your support of this new topic!

The power source question should be answerable!  Calliban is presenting/developing a vision of a 1 Megawatt fission reactor designed to run for 10 years without human supervision, and to be swapped out by a suitable organization. 

Such a reactor is in the ballpark of what I (at least) am looking for for the individual plots of My Hacienda.

The reason I've decided to pursue this topic at this time is the abundance of (real) sunlight that flooded into our part of the globe after many days of gloomy overcast weather.

The lifting of spirits of man and beast that comes from such a flood of light is palpable! 

The residents of Mars habitats are (surely) going to want (set aside "need") such lighting. 

There was/is at least one science fiction novel set in an artificial environment created by aliens for some unknown purpose.  The environment was vast.  It was designed as a sphere to hold air at one ATM standard, and was large enough to hold artificial fusion powered "suns" that were set to turn on in a 24 hour cycle.

The author (and his readers) were treated to numerous imaginary scenarios in this environment.

One of the episodes included a caper involving dashing into the site of one of the artificial suns during a "night" interval.

***
Thanks for the links to the arc lamp and related topics!

Something to think about is the production of gases by a lighting system operating on this scale.

It might well prove best to locate the lighting system outside the habitat, and beam the photons into the habitat.

A system like this would take the place of myriads of individual LED panels that might otherwise be needed to illuminate habitat volume.

(th)

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#4 2021-07-24 11:58:11

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,871

Re: Artificial Sunlight for Habitats on Mars, on Earth, or anywhere

I think UV light is useful to a number of species, most notably pollinating insects. Flowers have lots of bold markings visible in the UV spectrum but not in the rest of the spectrum. So if you were assuming natural pollination, you'd probably want to maintain the UV part of the spectrum, or pollination would probably become far less efficient.


tahanson43206 wrote:

This new topic is a spinoff from the original Artificial Suns topic by Tom Kalbus ...

This topic is offered to collect facts and practical advice for those who will be designing lighting systems for habitats for human beings away from Earth, as well as on Earth in underground shelters, or underwater shelters, as they become more popular.

tahanson43206 wrote:

For SpaceNut .... it is time for this older topic to return to view...

While the topic itself appears (my first impression) to be about solar objects (like our Sun) I am hoping to restart the topic with something a bit more practical.

Years ago, after World War II, there were a number of war surplus search lights available, and I remember then painting the sky for festivals to the South and North where small cities were located in the rural region where our family lived.  That was when I attended a one room school, to put it into context.

Those search lights were designed to produce light from a hefty electric arc.  Some movie projectors ran on the same technology, but I've only read about that. I never saw one in operation.

With Calliban's initiative to design a hefty 1 Mw fission reactor that can be deployed for 10 years at a time, we can see possibilities for Mars habitation opening that might not have been possible with less robust power sources.

It is in this context that I invite (hopefully learned) discussion of the specific requirements for an "artificial sun" lighting system for large cavernous spaces on Mars.  The spectrum of the Sun is the one we (humans and animals and plants) have "grown up" with, so I would expect an artificial sun to reproduce the beneficial spectra, while eliminating (if possible) the frequencies that serve no useful purpose, such as Ultra Violet ones.

This subtopic is introduced within the larger topic of Terraformation.

This is ** not ** Terraformation ... this would be Terrasimulation, accomplished on the scale of habitats, and not an entire planet.

(th)


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#5 2021-07-24 12:33:23

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,349

Re: Artificial Sunlight for Habitats on Mars, on Earth, or anywhere

For Louis re #3

Thank you for a helpful addition to this new topic!

Since this is a designed spectrum, your reminder should be helpful to the engineering/bioengineering team that would work on this concept.

I expect the Infrared spectrum will be expected and needed to assist with temperature control inside the habitat.

However, if this really ** is ** controllable, it should be possible to fine tune the spectrum for the needs of the inhabitants.

Thus, I am hoping that as time goes along, this topic attracts posts about specific spectra and their values, just as you have done!

(th)

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#6 2021-07-24 16:47:12

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,122

Re: Artificial Sunlight for Habitats on Mars, on Earth, or anywhere

So now we are talking of simulated light intensity as well as band of light emitted from the source created but it appears we want an energy efficient creation there in for that light.

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#7 2021-07-24 17:10:11

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,349

Re: Artificial Sunlight for Habitats on Mars, on Earth, or anywhere

For SpaceNut re #6

Thanks for picking up on the focus of this new topic ... As a benefit of use of Calliban's concept for a 1 Megawatt modular reactor, 100% of the energy produced would be available and useful on Mars, because the output of the system is thermal energy, some of which can be converted to electricity, and some of ** that ** can be converted to light.  There would be NO loss of energy in such a system, because any not routed into lighting would be available as heat.

The efficiency of the system is not important in this context, because any energy not delivered as light is available as heat.  Calliban is describing a system that delivers 1 Megawatt of ** electrical ** output, so there might well be 2 or more Megawatts of bonus heat energy delivered by the system.  On Mars, that would be a win-win-win situation.

(th)

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#8 2021-07-24 18:15:49

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,122

Re: Artificial Sunlight for Habitats on Mars, on Earth, or anywhere

If kustry is comparison to the large scale nuclear units the thermal energy that is tossed is 3/4 of the energy that is not used with only 1/4 being converted to electrical for use....and that is a molten salt reactor controlled power plant.

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#9 2021-07-24 18:56:38

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,349

Re: Artificial Sunlight for Habitats on Mars, on Earth, or anywhere

For SpaceNut re #8 .... If heat is wasted then efficiency suffers.

It will be interesting to see if Calliban's design lends itself to recovery of thermal energy from the reactor, on it's way to the sky.

By the figure's you've provided I would assume the Krusty is only 25% efficient.  On the other hand, why does it matter?

The radioactive material would have split into fragments on its own, if humans hadn't intervened.  That would be 100% waste.

Does efficiency have a meaning in this context?

It may ... I just can't see it right now.

(th)

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