10 July 2009

Connecting Aerodynamic Seasteads in Clusters

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The SESU seastead design won the recent Seasteading Institute's design award for "most aesthetic." As you can see, the seastead is mostly enclosed by transparent panels. This design protects the inhabitants from ever-present winds, sea spray, and splash in high seas, while allowing for daylight illumination. The above image demonstrates a cluster of 3 SESU 'steads, along with a docked super-yacht. In reality, the best dock designs for yachts and passenger ships are yet to be created.
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The SESU design is Al Fin's favourite of the recent seastead design contest winners. The semi-enclosed design protects inhabitants and interior structures from many of the hazards of the open sea, in comparison to the other designs.

Better methods for loading and unloading supplies and personnel -- from the sea and from the air -- will be most important for any such facility that intends to put to sea long term.

The vertical 4-spar design is meant to minimise wave impact on the structure. But traveling through the water will be slow, which means that it will be difficult for such seasteads to move out of the way of large storms. The structure would have to be able to adapt and transform itself to meet and survive strong storms at sea.

The walkways connecting the 3-stead cluster, as pictured, would likely snap like toothpicks in any significant storm. Should that happen, the 3 seasteads would be far too close for safety in a free-floating configuration. There are many things to be taken into account, before this design is actually inhabited and tested at sea.

What would you change or modify?

For more information, read Reason Magazine's 20,000 Nations Above the Sea for an interesting look at the founding fathers of the Seasteading Institute and on some of the non-technical problems seasteading faces.

For seasteading to be successful as a movement, it will have to solve a long list of problems. Only a few of them are technical or engineering problems. Most of them will be tougher because they will involve human psychology, politics, and legality.


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Blogger kurt9 said...

Pretty pictures. But can these designs withstand the pounding of the open seas and the rogue waves?

The open ocean is a very demanding environment for engineering design.

Friday, 10 July, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Good question.

We know that huge aircraft carriers, super tankers, and very large passenger liners can take most of what the sea dishes out.

Seasteaders want something just as sturdy or sturdier, but at a lower cost and better adapted to long term living, working, and playing.

If all goes well, children will be born and raised, and live long healthy productive lives at sea without ever living on land for longer than a week or two at a time.

Saturday, 11 July, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want something sturdier than an aircraft carrier then you should look to the platforms the oil industry uses for drilling in exceptionally deep waters. I would bet that some of the ones that drill in exceptionally deep water probably are free floating, and use small electrically powered thrusters to maintain their position.

Second, the settlers needed for such a project would have to be exceptionally motivated, and thus could not be normal middle class people from any Western country. I can think of only a few groups willing to start of such a massive project as pioneers:

1. The Boer may be looking for a more friendly place to live.

2. Right wing Christian fundamentalists, like the Puritans that landed at Plymouth Rock in what is now Massachusetts.

3. Extremely poor people looking for a better life who would be sponsored by a wealthy patron, most likely a Western state.

So there you have it, the persecuted, the true believers, and the destitute.

As for the expense of such a structure, they could potentially be made of concrete the way ships were built of concrete in WWI and WW2. link link

Saturday, 11 July, 2009  

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