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aether

Aether seeks to capture the atmospheric carbon dioxide that is so detrimental on Earth and utilize it as a valuable, untapped resource for human colonization in outer space.  


 

DESIGN PROBLEM

 

 

There are limits to growth within an isolated system, and as humankind continues to grow, we come closer to a threshold at which the Earth will no longer have the resources or the capability to support us.  The realities of global climate change will force humanity to look beyond our planet to find the answers to our survival.  Earth is not beyond saving, but it will require a global effort to make any meaningful strides to reverse the damage we have done.  We must develop solutions that will unify humanity towards one common goal: to mitigate the effects of climate change on Earth while progressing our ability to venture beyond our home planet with the inevitable growth of humankind.  

Looking out into the vast, boarder-less frontier of space, there is an opportunity for humanity to act not as individuals, but together as members of the same species with the common goal of ensuring our planet’s and our own survival. Our reach into space has the capability to unify our efforts on an international scale as we challenge our earthly limitations.  

Working together to build an international materials research  and production station within Earth’s orbit that is focused on developing technologies to harness atmospheric pollutants from our planet to be utilized for human colonization on Mars; this unified, human effort will act as a catalyst for profound innovation, stimulate new interest in the sciences, and inspire global cooperation.

 

 

RESEARCH

 

 
Source: Walter Bibikow—Getty Images/AWL Images RM

Source: Walter Bibikow—Getty Images/AWL Images RM

The overabundance of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is extremely problematic and has had a devastating effect on our delicately balanced natural environment.  Our efforts to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses that are released into the atmosphere may slow the onset of dramatic climate change, but it will become necessary to do more.  Through Direct Air Capture it is possible to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making DAC a negative emissions solution.  This captured carbon dioxide can be utilized to create new carbon-based building materials, produce fuels, and increase agricultural productivity.  This carbon dioxide, while a detriment on Earth, is a valuable, untapped resource for human colonization in outer space.  

Combining insight and inspiration from natural systems with emerging science and existing technology lead to the development of an effective carbon capture strategy.

 
DAS_AETHER_CARBON CAPTURE DIAGRAMAIRCO2APPLIED TEMPERATURE SWINGCO2 SEQUESTEREDCO2 FILTEREDAGRICULTURECARBON- BASED FUELSRAW MATERIALS FOR FUTURE PROJECTScoocoo
 

To capture the carbon dioxide that is dispersed throughout the atmosphere, drones containing an air filter coated with Metal-Organic Frameworks (highly porous metal ion structures that are capable of capturing carbon dioxide) will be deployed.  The captured carbon dioxide can be released via a decrease in pressure or through exposure to heat, and stored for future use.  

Converting this captured carbon dioxide into a usable building material requires a chemical reaction.  When carbon dioxide reacts with electrically charged metal coils submerged in a lithium carbonate solution, carbon nanofibers form and oxygen is released.  These carbon nanofibers can then be used to make 3D printed carbon-based building materials.

 

 

CONCEPT

 

 
 
 

In a closed-loop system every programmatic relationship needs to be carefully considered.  The interconnections between carbon sourcing, materials research, material production, and support systems must be understood to ensure maximum efficiency. 

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DESIGN SOLUTION

 

 
 

CARBON DIOXIDE COLLECTION

The collection of atmospheric carbon dioxide will be carried out by a fleet of drones equipped with specialized air filters.  The deployment of these drones will be focused in cities that have high concentrations of smog like Los Angeles, CA. 

 

ELECTROMAGNETIC MASS DRIVER

Located in the California desert, an electromagnetic mass driver will serve as both a drone port to process the captured carbon dioxide and a means of sending this raw material in the form of carbon capsule rockets into space without the cost and pollutants associated with traditional launch systems.  Powered by solar energy, the mass driver will facilitate an efficient exchange of resources between Earth the Aether space station.  

 

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AETHER SPACE STATION

Carbon capsules launched from the mass driver will be received by the Aether space station where the carbon dioxide can be processed and converted into a usable building material.  Here, structures and equipment needed to support a human colony on Mars (or elsewhere) can be 3D printed and launched into space.  Accommodating long-term habitation and research facilities in the space station will make it a functional space port for future missions into the larger universe. 

 

MARTIAN COLONY

The arrival of new building materials, 3D printed structures, and equipment will support a permanent human colony on Mars.

 
 
 

The collection of atmospheric carbon dioxide will be carried out by a fleet of drones equipped with specialized air filters.  The deployment of these drones will be focused in cities that have high concentrations of smog like Los Angeles, CA. 

Located in the California desert, an electromagnetic mass driver will serve as both a drone port to process the captured carbon dioxide and a means of sending this raw material in the form of carbon capsule rockets into space without the cost and pollutants associated with traditional launch systems.  Powered by solar energy, the mass driver will facilitate an efficient exchange of resources between Earth the Aether space station.  

Carbon capsules launched from the mass driver will be received by the Aether space station where the carbon dioxide can be processed and converted into a usable building material.  Here, structures and equipment needed to support a human colony on Mars (or elsewhere) can be 3D printed and launched into space.  Accommodating long-term habitation and research facilities in the space station will make it a functional space port for future missions into the larger universe. 

The arrival of new building materials, 3D printed structures, and equipment will support a permanent human colony on Mars.

 

 

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